The purpose of labs is to provide hands-on experience with some aspects of the material covered in the lectures. Also, labs aim to teach transferrable skills that are useful beyond specific subjects such as using literature databases or understanding research designs.
Psychology 2A labs take place on Mondays and Wednesdays (2pm to 4pm, Lower Concourse at 7 George Square) in weeks 2 to 5 and 8 to 11. During the period when labs take place, each student is expected to attend one lab in every two weeks (i.e., four labs in total). For the time and location of your lab see Learn.
Labs are associated with tasks on which students are assessed. These assessments contribute towards the final course mark.
Individual differences: Literature search and summarizing
One of the essential skills in learning about and doing psychology is finding relevant literature and summarizing this in an efficient way. In this lab, students will be practicing the smart use of most common literature databases to identify key papers on a specific topic. They will also learn about writing succint state of art summaries of a topic. After the lab, students are expected to write a 1000-word summary on a specific topic related to individual differences.
The deadline for a draft of the summary is Thursday 24th October at noon. Students are provided feedback on the draft. The deadline for the final version of summaries is Thursday 21st November at noon. The final summary is assessed and the mark will contribute towards the final course mark (20%).
Abnormal psychology: Neurocognitive disorders
The Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination-III (ACE) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) are two of the most popular and commonly used cognitive tests used in dementia clinics and in the assessment of other neurological disorders. The practical will look at their reliability, and how they used in routine practice. There will be opportunity to administer and score these inventories, and analyse case studies to decide which tool would be better for the task.
Developmental psychology: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are among the most common early neurodevelopmental disorders, however the cause of these conditions are unknown. ASD are reliably diagnosed at around 3 years of age, and the early identification of these conditions for the purposes of intervention for improved outcome is a focal topic of research. This lab will explore the different methods of studying early signs of conditions such as autism and practical and ethical issues surrounding these methodologies. Students will have the opportunity to work in small groups to design a study aimed at detecting early signs of ASD and outlining strengths, limitations and ethical implications with feedback from their peers.
Pre-reading: Zwaigenbaum, L., Thurm, A., Stone, W., Baranek, G., Bryson, S., Iverson, J., Kau, A., Klin, A., Lord, C., Landa, R., Rogers, S., & Sigman, M. (2007). Studying the emergence of autism spectrum disorders in high-risk infants: methodological and practical issues. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 466-480.
In this lab, students will work in small groups to develop a measure of people’s attitudes towards either young or old people (ageism). This measure should be able to be administered in a Western nation (e.g., the UK or USA) and would capture the range of attitudes people could possess towards young or old people. Consideration will be given to the types of demographics that should be measured, the issues of introspection and self-presentation, and behavioural prediction. Students will start by looking for existing measures of intergroup attitudes and biases online. They will then draft a new measure which could capture these attitudes. Students will then implement this measure in Qualtrics as an electronic scale. Finally, students will write a short report on how they chose to measure attitudes and why they made these choices.