Experimental Proposal Paper
● Present a question in psycholinguistics that they are interested in and propose and experiment
that attempts to answer that question.
● A good paper will present the question, discuss relevant research on the topic (students are
welcome to base this on their Midterm Literature Review)
● Present the logic of how your experiment will answer the question, describe the methodology
that would be used in your experiment
● And discuss how different patterns of results would be interpreted.
● Students do not have to run an experiment; this is simply a proposal.
Introduction (2-3 paragraphs) – Present and motivate the psycholinguist question that you would like
to answer. Briefly talk about the relevant research that is out there.
– Notice how most of the papers you’ve read present some background first, describing why an
issue is important and interesting. Then they discuss some findings in the area. The goal is to set
up the question
Methods Sections – Here are the parts where you will describe your experiment
Participants – No need to specify a number, but you should describe the population that would serve as
your experiment’s participants (eg., monolingual english speakers? Infants? Adults?)
● Materials – Here you will describe the items and conditions of your experiment
○ Types of sentences, recordings, pictures, etc. How will they be manipulated? What will
the experimental conditions be and how does this apply to the materials?
● Procedure – What will participants do throughout the experiment
Data Analysis Section – What will you be measuring? Are there any steps you need to take before you
analyze the data?
● Eg., if you are recording people speaking, does someone need to judge or annotate what
participants said? If people are answering questions, do you need to mark them as correct or
incorrect? What time windows would you analyze in an eye tracking study (roughly speaking).
● You do not need to come up with or fake any actual data. Just describe what needs to be done in
order to get analyzable data from your experiment.
Results and Discussion Section – How would you interpret a different pattern of results?
● You will not have actual results. You do not need to come up with numbers for what the results
would look like.
● Presumably, you will expect to see some difference between your conditions. What would you
conclude if you saw a difference in the expected direction? What if there’s no difference? What if
you get a difference in the opposite direction than expected? Do you expect any interactions?