Levels of Processing Experiment

APA Paper #1
Levels of Processing Experiment
Brief Description
As college students, all of you have been in situations where you have to remember large
amounts of information for an upcoming exam. How should you study that information so that you
are most likely to remember it? You probably know that simply repeating the information over and
over to yourself (rote rehearsal) does not always work. Often, you need to process the material at a
“deeper” level, i.e., think about the meaning of it and perhaps determine how the information
complements what you already know (elaborative rehearsal). For example, you are more likely to
recall material that you read if you focus on the meaning of the text while you read rather than just
proofreading. The idea that deeper processing is a more effective memory strategy than shallow
processing was proposed by Craik and Lockhart (1972), and it is known as the levels-of-processing
(LOP) framework.
There has been some question as to exactly what constitutes “shallow” processing compared
with “deep” processing. In this experiment, we had two conditions: In one condition participants
were checking the font of the target words (uppercase vs. lowercase letters) and this will be defined
as shallow processing and in the other condition participants checked the meaning (are two words
synonyms?) and this is defined as deep processing. If Craik and Lockhart (1972) were correct, then
students in the deep processing condition should remember more words than students in the shallow
processing condition.
Requirements for Laboratory Report
You will analyze the raw data from this experiment and write up an APA style research
report. You should include all of the components that were discussed in the APA Paper
presentation (Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References, a table,
and a figure). The format of the research report should follow the guidelines presented in the APA
Publication Guidelines manual.
In the introduction please describe the concept of “level of processing” and cite some of the
previous research articles that have looked at the concept. At the end of the introduction be sure to
state a specific research hypothesis about what you expect to happen in your research study based
upon your review of these previous articles. You should do a literature search on this topic.
Stimuli were presented using a PC computer and a ceiling mounted projector and Microsoft
PowerPoint software to control the timing of the presentation of the memory stimuli to participants
in a group setting. Stimuli were presented for 7 seconds during acquisition and participants were
asked to make judgments about the physical characteristics of the stimuli (upper or lower case) or
about whether the target word had the same meaning as the word “Beautiful”. A distractor task was
employed for 10 minutes between the end of acquisition and the start of the Recall phase. The
recall period was for 5 minutes and was a free recall in which words could be recalled in any order.
You should describe the distractor task. Be sure to include enough detail in the Methods section so
that someone else could replicate this study.
Descriptive statistics for the demographic data should be reported for the entire sample and
broken down by each group in a table. In addition a bar graph should be used to present the mean
scores for each LOP group on the recall task. A statistical test should be calculated and reported
comparing the two groups to detect a significant difference. Report the obtained value of your
statistical test using the appropriate APA format. You may conduct other analyses if you wish but it
is not required.
Briefly restate your research findings. How do your results compare to previous research
studies (such as those you cited in the introduction). Discuss any limitations to your study. Do the
findings have any implications for how college students study for exams?
You should cite at least 5 references in your paper and they should be placed in a reference
section and formatted according to APA style. Two of the five references can be from the ones
listed below:
Craik, F. I., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research.
Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671-684.
Craik, F. I., & Tulving, E. (1975). Depth of processing and the retention of words in
episodic memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 104, 268-294.

Psychology 2219 – Research Methods
Grading System and Helpful Hints – Paper 1
____ Title Page – 1 point
· Inclusion of appropriate information (i.e., running header, title, author name & institution)
____ Abstract – 6 points
· State purpose/background (2pts)
· Brief description of Methods (e.g. age, number, and ethnicity of participants) (2pts)
· Brief description of Results/Conclusions (2pts)
____ Introduction – 8 points
1. Cite previous studies – (3pts)
· Do not use first names when referring to other researchers
· When including studies in your introduction, ask yourself: How do the findings of this study
contribute to my hypothesis? How do they “build a case” for my study?
· Try to understand other researchers’ findings, and then paraphrase in your own words (i.e., do
not use direct quotations)
· Briefly summarize the results of any study you include
2. State hypothesis – (2pts)
· Include a specific hypothesis at the end of your introduction
3. APA style – (2pts)
· The introduction should not include any information about your results
· Don’t write in the first person (i.e., using “I” or “we”); make statements like “The purpose of the
present study was…” or “It is predicted that…”.
4. Clarity, readability, punctuation, grammar, etc. – (1pt)
· Run spell check and grammar check before turning in your paper
· Try to be exact and descriptive when writing – for example, don’t use the word “things.”
· Describe and define all terms that may be unfamiliar to your reader
____Method – 7 points
(divide into appropriate subheadings (i.e., Participants, Materials, etc)
1) Participants (sample size, demographics) – (3pts)
2) Materials (if any) – (1pt)
3) Procedure – (3pts)
Note: Name groups in the methods section (e.g. do not refer to a group as “group 1” or “group 2”
instead use a name that is informative about the nature of the group (e.g., Deep Processing (DP)
group and Shallow Processing (SP) group. Then, just refer to the DP group and SP group for the
rest of the paper.
____Results – 8 points
1) Descriptives – (4pts)
· Do not interpret results or define what the statistic means in this section. Just present the results.
This section should be straightforward and to the point.
2) t-test finding – (4pts)
· Report the t-test output from SPSS including p-values and interpret correctly (e.g. p never equals
0, instead p < .001). Only use (=) if that is the exact value. Remember that a p-value that is less than .05 is significant. If it is greater than .05, it is nonsignificant. · Use APA format for reporting means, standard deviations, number of participants, degrees of freedom, and significance tests. For example, M = 3.44; SD = 1.20; n = 43; t = 4.32, df = 36; p < .003. The t-test value should always be reported as the absolute value. Note: Do not include figures or tables in the text of this section. State the statistic and then at the end of the explanation of the results, write: “see Figure 1” to direct the reader to the figure. The figure will be on a different page at the end of your paper. ____Discussion – 8 points 1) Restate results and interpret what they mean – (2pts) · Do not ever say your results “prove” something. Statistics only let us know the probability of an event taking place. 2) Relate to previous research – (2pts) · How do the findings/results relate to previous studies—do these findings make sense? 3) Relevance of findings – (2pts) · Why are these findings important? How are they useful in the real world? · What do the findings mean? 4) Limitations / Future directions – (1pt) · Discuss at least 1 or 2 potential limitations of this study (e.g. convenience sample, be creative and come up with other ideas) · Future research to address confounds and questions raised by the findings 5) Flow and Clarity – (1pt) · Do not use first person (“I”, “Me”). · Avoid using adjectives like “very”, may use occasionally if necessary · Do not repeat the same word over and over throughout a sentence, paragraph, or the entire paper. Come up with a synonym or a different way to say it · The word “which” is almost always used after a coma. People often use “which” when they should be using “that”. (e.g. Please hand me that red pen. Please hand me that red pen, which is on the table) · Never end a sentence with a preposition. Use transition sentences. Do not start every sentence with “The”, “A”, or “An.” ____Table – 4pts -Create a table that summarizes the demographic data (the variables that describe your participants) from your study. This should be done for the overall sample and broken down by your groups. Tables go after the Discussion section ____Figure – 4 points · Use a figure to show group means – often for this type of data a bar graph is appropriate. · Figures go after the Discussion and before the References ____References – 4 points · Alphabetical (from last names); correct APA formatting Total point value of paper = 50 points General Suggestions · In text Citations: There are two basic styles - If mention name of author in text: “Smith et al., (1991) found that ...,” or you can summarize the work then cite like this: “previous research has found that ... (Smith et al., 1991)”. · Carefully consult the APA manual as well as sample papers, especially while looking at the format of the title page, format of abstract, formatting citations in text, and formatting headings in the paper · Run spell check, run grammar check. Then proof read! You will catch mistakes the computer missed. It is often helpful to read the paper out loud and correct mistakes as soon as you see or hear them. Give the paper to someone who is not in the class to read to see if it makes sense to them. The paper should be typed up in MS Word and submitted as one document. You do not need to provideyour SPSS output.

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