Week 2 Blogging Spotlight – Topic: Research Methods

Microphone stands in spotlight by kjeik, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  kjeik 

Though this was the topic the highest number of my students reported being the least interested in, the posts this week did not seem to reflect a lack of interest. Perhaps it was the prompts for the week that got them excited. Perhaps they are just good at faking interest (which doesn’t bode well for me this semester…or does it?). In any case, here are some of the highlights.

Five students chose to take the first option of designing their own research study to answer a question of their choosing. Their topics covered a broad array of ideas from several areas of psychology: the effects of additional sleep vs. exercise on energy levels, how climate may influence perceptions of temperature changehow duration of television exposure affects eyesight, how exposure to laughter affects smiles, and whether or not a stage model is the best way to conceptualize moral development. Reading through these posts I’ve already got numerous ideas for cool studies we could conduct on campus. Hopefully some of them will take me up on offers to make these ideas a reality.

Most students, however, chose to review and critique a short video where the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters conducted a test (links to the videos themselves are available via the Week 2 Prompts post). Students were nearly equally interested in the myth choices presented in the prompts. Two students chose to tackle “Is it more dangerous to drive in high heels” (Link 1, Link 2). Two students were drawn to the test of “beer goggles” (Link 1, Link 2). Two more looked at gender differences in reading others’ emotions (Link 1, Link 2). Investigating the relative danger of driving while talking on the phone vs. driving drunk caught the attention of two students (Link 1, Link 2). The winner, by a nose, this week was whether or not yawning was contagious, with 3 students providing a critique (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3).

Make sure to check out their posts for more details and please feel free to post comments, questions, or reactions to what you read. We look forward to hearing from you!

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