Elizabeth R. Schotter


Experimental Design & Analysis

This course is a hands-on, project based introduction to the research methods and statistical techniques employed in empirical psychological science. Topics covered in this course include formulation of research questions and hypotheses, measurement of variables, research study design (especially design of factorial experiments), statistics, inference from study results, scientific communication, and research ethics. These topics are treated in a highly hands-on manner; students will DO psychological science throughout this class. The hands-on nature of the class means that students will gain foundational knowledge through at-home, online learning modules, which will prepare them to work with that knowledge in class either individually or in groups to design experiments, analyze data, and interpret results. By the end of the course, a successful student will have all the general know-how and skills necessary to critically evaluate, conceptually design, and interpret the validity of experimental studies in Psychology. To this end, instead of a final exam, students will form groups and complete a research project from start to finish, presenting it in class at the end of the term and writing an empirical research paper.

Instructor: [Fall 2016] [Spring 2017]

Psychology of Language

Language processing is extremely complex; humans do easily and quickly but we do not yet understand it enough to design computers that are fully capable of it. This class investigates both how we achieve successful language use and how the language processing system breaks down and what this implies about its structure and function. Students learn how Psycholinguists generate theories, design experiments, and interpret data in order to understand how language is understood, produced, and acquired. This course focuses on the scientific study of natural human language processing with topics such as: word processing, sentence processing, reading, speech production, bilingualism, second language acquisition, sign language, etc. Students will be introduced to the basics of the scientific method (e.g., theories, methods, and data) and are encouraged to come up with their own empirical questions about psycholinguistics.

Instructor:[Spring 2017] [Fall 2017]

Co-Instructor: [Winter 2013] [Fall 2013]

Lab: Psycholinguistics and Cognition

Eye tracking techniques have proven to be incredibly useful in studying mental processes because where our eyes go and how long they linger is a reliable index of what we are paying attention to and how easily we can process it. To study internal mental processes, this course combines hands-on experience conducting research using eye tracking techniques with reading and critically evaluating published studies. Throughout this course, students assist with ongoing research in the lab, as well as read and write weekly responses to published journal articles and develop and create a final project. Throughout this course, students develop skills in scientific writing and communication, critical thought and analysis, experimental design and implementation as well as a general understanding of scientific practices and issues.

Instructor: [Continually offered]

Language & Science (Graduate Seminar)

Writing and presenting effectively is one of the most important parts of the scientific process. In order for one's research to have an impact, it has to be successfully communicated to a variety of readers/listeners, including journal editors/reviewers, grant program officers/reviewers, job search committees, colleagues, students, and the media/general public. This can be challenging, especially since one must use language in strategically different ways to communicate to each audience. Successful communication requires a writing/speaking style that combines simplicity and clarity with precision and detail where necessary. In this semester long workshop style course, aimed at graduate students at all stages, we will learn about principles of effective communication and use them to provide extensive feedback on each student's writing samples. The instructor will provide writing guides and some articles related to principles of language processing but the majority of the class will be student driven, using the students' own scientific writing to develop effective communication skills. Each week, one student will share a writing sample (or other document) related to their current research project with the entire class. The other students will edit and provide feedback comments in the document and return it to the instructor and author. The following class time will be used to workshop different ways to improve the clarity and effectiveness of the argumentation and writing style (or presentation style for spoken presentations) and to discuss general language processing principles that come up in the context of the writing sample/presentation.

Instructor: [Fall 2017]

International 2-3 Day Workshops (Academic Writing & Publication): [Summer 2014] [Summer 2016]

Cognitive Psychology

Despite a great amount of uncertainty in the world (with respect to visual input, linguistic meaning, etc.), the human mind is amazingly capable of interpreting the world as a stable, certain place with little or no difficulty. Cognitive psychologists design experiments to reveal under what circumstances the human mind succeeds or fails to perform a given task correctly in order to understand how it is organized and how it processes information. This course focuses on the scientific study mental processes with topics such as: perception, attention, memory, language, decision making, etc. Students will be introduced to the basics of the scientific method and are encouraged to come up with their own empirical questions about cognition.

Instructor: [Summer 2010]

Teaching Assistant: [Fall 2008] [Spring 2009] [Spring 2010] [Spring 2011] [Winter 2011]