Summer SAVY 2019: Session 3, Day 2 – Psychology and Experimental Design (Rising 3rd/4th)
Day two showcased some great ideas! Our day was full of insightful and intriguing questions that really pushed the students to think critically about how to study and understand the mind.
After a brief demonstration involving psychological measures that did not actually measure what they were supposed to measure (i.e., were not valid), we riled up our researchers with a spirited debate. Students were introduced to a controversial measure of babies’ sense of right and wrong, and split up into two teams to argue whether this measure was valid or invalid. The students had a lot of fun with this activity! I was very impressed with their thoughtful arguments and respectful rebuttals.
Next, we discussed ethics in psychology and how to identify experimental procedures that might be unethical. The class came up with some great strategies for how to ensure we protect our participants from harm.
We also re-visited an activity from yesterday; thinking about how different things in our lives (e.g., other people, books, music) might affect our minds. Students went back to our “stations” and studied the classes responses, and identified patterns while thinking hard about how such things influence their minds in their own lives.
Our day capped off with a visit to my lab in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Peabody College. After briefing students on a current experiment going on right now, our researchers got to see first hand how young children learn about non-familiar groups, using different types of measures of children’s thoughts and feelings toward those groups.
Tomorrow our researchers take on the task of devising experiments to better understand what causes effects in the human mind. I am very excited to see what they come up with.