Contact a Humanities Office or Academic unit.
Find your course outlines.


Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Deanna Friesen


Office: TSH 602

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23761

Office Hours: Tuesdays 10am to 12pm

Course Objectives:

Course Description

The aim of the course is for students to gain an opportunity to conduct psycholinguistic research. Students will observe and participate in demonstrations of  experimental methods. They will design and conduct a research project in a small group. Two important skills-related objectives of the course are for students to enhance their ability to read primary journal articles in psycholinguistics and to improve both their written and oral communication skills.

Course Learning Objectives

The purpose of this course is to gain an understanding of language processing research and to learn how to use critical thinking skills to further our knowledge in the field.  

    By the end of the course,

 - students should understand how research informs theory and vice versa.

- students should be able to critically evaluate research and efficiently seek out further information on a covered topic.

- students should gain experience summarizing and interpreting articles

- students should understand how to design and analyse an experimental study. 

  -students should further develop their oral presentation & writing skills

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


There will be no textbook assigned for this course. However, additional readings will be assigned or recommended during the course.

PsychMate Software Student Activation Code (Psychological Software Tools) – more details provided in class.


Strongly recommended: The 6th edition of the APA Publication manual

Method of Assessment:

The final grade for the course will be based on the following items weighted as indicated:

Class Participation                                5%

Annotated Bibliography                       10%

Proposal                                             15%  

Group Poster                                      20%

Poster Presentation                           10%

Final Paper                                        40%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Lateness Policy:  Late assignments will incur a penalty of 3% per day. Exceptions to this policy may be made for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc..but will require supporting documentation (e.g., a doctor’s letter).

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Course Schedule

Note: the topics for each week will depend on the pacing of each group’s project.




Group Work

Jan 7th

Course Introduction

Search engines

 How to read a research paper.

Friesen & Joanisse (2013); IN CLASS


Jan 14th

Annotated Bibliography & Research Design

Lexical decision, semantic priming

Topic brainstorming

Jan 21st

Data Processing & analysis

  self-paced reading paradigm

Topic brainstorming & article search

Jan 28th

Writing a Proposal & Ethics Forms

  Speech Perception

Work on Ethics packages & Materials

Annotated Bibliography Due

Feb 4th

 Research design Finalized & Materials development

Feb 11th

Computer Programing


Proposal  & Ethics Package due

Feb 18th



Feb 25nd

Computer Programing

Mar 4rd

Data Acquisition



Mar 11th

Data Acquisition



Mar 18th

Project Analyses



Mar 25st

Writing up Results & Poster Instructions



Apr 1st

Poster Due & Presentations

Apr 8th

Final Paper Due