Labs 1B

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Labs 1B

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 1 labs take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the basement concourse of the Psychology Department (7 George Square). Times are 0900-1100 and 1300-1500 on Tuesdays and 1300-1500 on Thursdays. However, each student attends a lab only every other week. Check Learn for your lab dates.

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.

Lab Summaries

Developmental Psychology

In this lab, you will learn how to study the minds of babies. In particular, we will focus on how to study baby behavior in a coherent, replicable and scientifically reliable fashion. The basic lessons from this lab will not just apply to developmental psychology as covered in Dr Rabagliati's lectures, but to any discipline where you need to code records of human behavior as quantitative measurements. More deeply, you'll be confronted with the problem of how to make reliable, scientific inferences regarding the mental states of human beings who cannot tell you what they're thinking or focusing on.

Social Psychology

Your social psychology laboratory will involve you filling out a questionnaire. This will be emailed to you in the weeks prior to your first social psychology lecture. In the lab itself, you will analyse and interpret the results of that study and then think of possible follow-ups you might design to answer questions that emerge.

Human Memory

This lab will focus on human working memory, that is, the ability to hold information in the focus of attention for some period of time as needed for completion of a task or achievement of a goal. As you will learn in Professor Logie's lectures, working memory is very limited, and researchers have devised different ways to try and probe at the limits of working memory in order to understand how it functions. Here, you will attempt to replicate a classic visual working memory task and examine your data.


Natural human language is one of the most complex phenomena scientists have ever studied. In this lab you will undertake several small experiments on topics covered in Professor Pickering's lectures that will help you to learn about the complexities of real speach, both in listening to it and producing it. Moreover, you'll learn that both successes and errors can be informative when studying language.