Original Research Project relating To Topic in Cognitive psycho

1. The research project must relate to Cognitive Psychology The paper is to be on a cognitive psychology “topic” as in a research question surrounding a specific topic. For example “How do memories affect the way individuals or groups act?”

a. What is the cognitive process you are studying?

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b. If not a single process, what combinations of processes are you studying, and what is the most relevant process? You will only be able to measure one process. So, if there are two processes, it is likely that one is being used to manipulate the other (e.g., effects of attention on memory).

2. The research project must be socially relevant

a. How is your study socially relevant? Many students find that it is easier to come up with focused ideas when their experiment is directed at solving a socially relevant problem. The National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation also program their funding agenda with socially relevant problems as well.

b. Be sure that your project is primarily directed at understanding a cognitive process. Sometimes one gets so involved with the social relevance of the project, they forget to address a cognitive process.

3. The research project must be original work that has not been done in the field yet

a. What unsolved problem will your study address?

b. This requirement is often the one that students struggle with the most because it is difficult to make an innovative contribution to a field that you are learning about.

c. There are several ways to come up with an idea that has not been done before:

i. The textbook is a great place to start.

ii. You should also look at peer-reviewed REVIEW articles and meta-analyses from the past 2 years. This endeavor will bring you up to speed on the literature quickly.

iii. Consider replicating a recent study, but alter one critical element. For example, you can try the experiment in a new subject population. You might also change the stimulus. You can also design a complementary study (e.g., a physiological investigation that might follow up on previous behavioral studies).

4. The research project must interest you

a. This is typically the easiest requirement to satisfy. However, it is also the most important. Please do not look at this project as “just another homework assignment.”

5. The thesis should also meet the following criteria

a. Your thesis should be stated as a prediction that incorporates the theory, the independent variable, the dependent variable(s), and how the dependent variable will be measured.


1. The title page should include name, the project title, and affiliation

2. References – Include APA style in-text citations. See the Sample Papers for guidance. This section will include the bibliography that lists the full reference for your citations.

3. the Figure Legends (the text that you use to describe the figures) go on a separate page after the References.

4. If you need to included samples or questionnaires that do not fit in the Methods section, use an Appendix. If you have a long survey or assessment in your project, include 5 representative questions in the Methods section. The remainder of the survey or assessment should go in the Appendix.

5. All papers are written in the past tense because you presumably finished the work.

6. Do not write in the 1st person. Instead of saying “I recruited subjects…” you should say “Subjects were recruited…”

7. Refer to the OWL at Purdue online for information about APA formatting and writing style.

8. Make sure your papers follow this order:

a. Title page

b. Abstract – The abstract should summarize the paper in 300 words. Use one to two sentences to describe each of the major sections (i.e., Intro, Methods, Results, Etc.)

c. Introduction

d. Methods

e. Results

f. Discussion

g. References

h. Figure legends

i. Tables

j. Figures

k. Appendices

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