The purpose of labs is to introduce you to the basics of experimental science. You will get hands-on experience with some aspects of the material covered in the lectures, and you will likely see the results of your work in the labs feed back into the lecture content!
Psychology 1A labs take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the basement concourse of the Psychology Department (7 George Square). Times are 0900-1100 and 1500-1700 on Tuesdays and 1300-1500 on Thursdays. However, each student attends a lab only every other week. Check Learn for your lab dates. When you come to the lab, please bring your Tutorial Workbook (a paper copy can be picked up from the Teaching Office in Dugald Stewart Building) and a pen.
Labs are associated with tasks on which students are assessed. These assessments contribute towards the final course mark.
Below are brief summaries of the lab contents. What you will learn in the labs is much richer than this - these are just meant to give you a general idea of what's going on. In each lab you will learn specific things, such as how to measure reaction times and what they're good for, and more general things, such as how the principles of conditioning have impacted you in your 'real' life.
Welcome to your first lab session! In this lab, we will measure and map a few of the relations between brain, body and mind that were mentioned in the first lecture. The lab consists of three parts. In each part, you will work in a pair to complete a task, collecting data about yourself and your partner. When you’re done, we will combine the data from all students in the group to see how similar or different everyone is.
In this lab, you will have the opportunity to become more familiar with the Ames Room illusion. You will be able to play around with different parameters and you will record your observations systematically.
Learning and Memory
In this lab you will get a chance to experience what it is like to shape the behaviour of an animal in accordance with the principles covered in Dr Weiss's lectures. Since this takes a long time with real animals, and because of the expense, mess, and special training needed to work with animals, you will get to do this with an artifically intelligent rat! In addition to being quicker and cleaner than a real rat, you will also get to look at plots of the contents of the rat's mind - to actually see the strength of representations of learning as they develop over time.
This activity allows students in Psychology 1A to explore their own personality traits and see how they link to actual behaviours. You will have a chance to build your own scale measuring a personality characteristic, and see how your scale performs compared to other personality measures.