By: Damien Chan
Module taken in Sem 1, AY2016/17
Lecturer: Dr Melvin Yap
Lecturer Review: Sharp and serious, but not scary or intimidating. Quite deadpan so you have to pay attention to hear any jokes. But Prof Yap cares a lot for students taking this module. In fact, he sets up a learning environment where you won’t be afraid to ask questions or clarify concepts, especially since the field is pretty esoteric; nothing in PL3233 or other cog mods will prepare you for it. Even friends who took PL3237 said the lab mod is a lot more technical. Also, Prof Yap is one of the biggest names in psycholing worldwide right now so you are in good hands.
The research done in this lab mod is through lexical decision task. In case you haven’t done an LDT RP before, basically you just decide if a string of letters is a word or not and you
press the corresponding key. A simple paradigm when you’re a participant but a whole new world when you’re the researcher.
The first half of the mod will be tough. Because you’ll be required to do readings that introduce the basic processes in psycholing and that means 100 pages of theoretical
frameworks and another 50 pages of one specific part of reading processes (e.g. morphology, semantics, etc). Prof Yap will assign readings to different pairs/trios in the class to present, so if you get super lost while doing the reading (AND I GUARANTEE IT WILL HAPPEN if you’re new to psycholing) just try your best and ask the presenters/Prof
Yap any questions in that week. Of course the theory is very important when your group needs to plan your experiment and you need to know what are the variables and how to manipulate them.
After Week 5 all the readings will end and you will start on designing your experiment. The second half of the mod will be the actual doing (i.e. research proposal, doing up the EPrime, summoning and bribing friends to do your experiment, SPSS, report writing etc). In between, there’s also a midterm that will test all the theoretical knowledge so if you think you can anyhow smoke and just rely on other
people’s presentations you are wrong.
Taking this mod will be good if you’ve thought about how that “I got a dig bick / You that read wrong” thread works, or if you’re interested in how words can prime thoughts and sounds / how thoughts and sounds can prime words. Also because this mod is heavy-duty at the beginning but gets lighter in the second half (the only major shag part will be
report writing), it’s a good balance to have with your other mods (which generally get heavier in the second half of the