Methods in Psycholinguistics

A great deal of our knowledge of how the human brain processes language is based on evidence from psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic experiments. In order to make a significant contribution to the literature on the neurocognition of language, these experiments need to be meticulously planned and executed. In this course you will learn the principles of designing and running psycholinguistic experiments. Over the course of the lecture series we will go through one whole iteration of the empirical cycle, covering the formulation of a question for research, operationalization of the question, designing and running the experiment, and evaluation of the results. Participants in the course will run their own (small-scale) psycholinguistic experiment via a series of course assignments. Having completed the course you will be acquainted with the most important principles of experimental design, and will have gained essential knowledge of the possible problems and pitfalls you may face in running a psycholinguistic experiment. You will also be aware of some of the most important experimental paradigms in psycholinguistics and should be capable of designing well thought-out experiments which employ these paradigms. Prior knowledge of statistics is helpful, but not essential for participation in the course.

Results from last year: The influence of Leetspeak on word reading

Student’s in last year’s course set out to investigate how people read words in Leetspeak, an internet based alphabet that uses symbol substitutions for letters. They discovered that words in Leetspeak were read slower than non-leetspeak control words and that their participants gradually adapted to reading words in Leetspeak over the course of the experiment.

download the full paper here

Enrollment is open for students at the Heinrich Heine University. Specifically the course is aimed at Master’s students of Linguistics (ML2, ML3, ML4, MS1, MV)

The lectures will take place in room CIP 00.85 on Fridays between 12:30 and 16:00 (April 12th, 2013 – July 19th, 2013).

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