9.59J | Spring 2017 | Undergraduate

Lab in Psycholinguistics


Problem Sets 

assignment supplemental materials
Problem Set 1: Manipulating and Analyzing Data in R (PDF) Data for Problem Set 1: Manipulating and Analyzing Data in R (CSV)
Problem Set 2: Reading and Processing Turk Data (PDF) Data for Problem Set 2: Reading and Processing Turk Data (CSV)
Problem Set 3: Exploratory Data Analysis and Significance Testing (PDF) No supplemental materials
Problem Set 4: Amazon Mechanical Turk (PDF) Data for Problem Set 4: Amazon Mechanical Turk (CSV)


The project will be to replicate an existing psycholinguistics paper by testing subjects on Amazon’s crowdsourcing platform Mechanical Turk, and then to extend the paper in some interesting way. The culmination of the project will be a formal write-up and in-class presentation. We will be handing out project ideas during the third week of class, and you should feel free to discuss these with the instructor and TA. The sooner you pick a project, the sooner you can begin working on it, so it’s a good idea to meet with us and finalize a project topic soon.

Paper 1

Evaluation of a paper from the literature (2-3 pages single-spaced).1 Read and summarize a paper from the literature, ideally one that will be related to your project. Have an introduction that discusses the theoretical questions at stake, a methods section that states how the central hypothesis is experimentally tested (i.e., what are the possible results and what would they mean for the hypothesis), a results section that states what was found, and a discussion section in which you evaluate the paper and discuss possible confounds and how they could be addressed. You will write 2 drafts of Paper 1. The second will incorporate feedback from the first draft.

Paper 2

Replication and extension proposal (3-4 pages single spaced). This is your project proposal where you will tell us how you plan to replicate and extend an existing result. This paper should include an introduction in which you briefly evaluate the existing literature on the topic (you can use the paper you evaluated in Paper 1 and should also include at least 2 more papers), a methods section in which you describe the methods both for the replication and the extension, and a discussion section in which you discuss possible outcomes and what they would mean for the hypothesis in question. Write your methods as if the experiment were already completed. That way you can edit and re-use this section for later papers.

Oral Presentation of Paper 2

You will give a 10-15 minute presentation on Paper 2 in which you describe your research question, proposal, and possible conclusions.

Paper 3

Replication write-up (6-8 pages) For this paper, you will include an introduction and methods section as in Paper 2 and also include the results of your replication attempt (but not your extension). The results section should include appropriate statistics and have at least one plot. You should also have a discussion section where you discuss the implications of your results, possible confounds, and future directions for your extension

Paper 4

This is your final paper. You may re-use parts of your previous papers, but the result should be a polished research paper with an introduction that discusses related literature (at least 3 papers), a methods section describing your replication and extension, a results section for your replication and extension, and a conclusion in which you discuss implications of your work, potential confounds, and future directions

Oral Presentation of Paper 4

With your final paper, you will give a 10-15 minute presentation on your project. You should assume that we have not already heard you present on this (indeed, there may be guests invited who haven’t) and should thus give an appropriate background discussion of related literature, as well as describe your methods, results, and conclusions in enough detail that someone not familiar with the work can understand what you did.

Discussion Questions

For many classes, there will be a discussion of a paper or papers from the literature. On these days, we want you to have read the paper and submit a brief summary/critique of the paper on the morning of the class. We will be reviewing your answers and tailoring the discussion to them.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2017
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Programming Assignments