A 24-Day Smartphone Study on Memory and Causal Reasoning

Supervising Faculty: Benjamin Rottman

Ciara Willett

Area of Research: Cognitive Psychology

Description of Research: 

We are conducting a series of studies on how people learn cause-effect relations in everyday life (e.g., does taking a medicine make me feel better, does running improve my mood, etc.). One of the challenges of learning these causal relations in everyday life is that one would have to remember experiences over multiple weeks (e.g., which days did I go running, and how did I feel after running). We will conduct a 24 day smartphone study as well as lab-based studies to track participants’ memories as well as their final decisions. In addition, we are developing interactive tutorials for research methods students to help them understand statistics and science skepticism.

Duties of Students:

The activities include some of the following - different students will work on somewhat different tasks: Debugging the smartphone app (no technical experience necessary), recruiting and running participants during the 24-day study, learning some data analysis, designing interactive tutorials for research methods, helping other students learn to do data analysis in R, and other tasks.

• Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
• 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
• STAT 0200/1000/1100- Statistics
• PSY 0035- Research Methods in Psychology
Terms offered: All terms for the foreseeable future.

Number of Students: 2