Project #21705 - Cognitive Psychology

Your assignment is to find an article in the news media (print or web) that reports on a recent (within the last 2 years) finding in the field of cognitive science, broadly defined (although if the article focuses on a neuroscientific discovery, it must be closely tied in with some aspect of cognition). The news article you choose must be at least 400 words in length, and it should NOT be a press release put out by the study authors’ university or research institute. Your assignment is to read both the news article and the actual scientific journal article (which you will likely need to download from the internet using your login credentials; www.pubmed.com orhttp://scholar.google.com are good places to search, but seek help from a librarian if you are unable to access a pdf of the article). Given the prominence of cognitive science stories in the news, you should have little trouble finding an interesting topic, but if you are in need of ideas, here are some good frequently updated websites to check out: 

http://www.biopsychology.com/news

http://www.scientificamerican.com/thought-and-cognition

http://www.scientificamerican.com/mind-and-brain

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/brain

http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/news/cognitive

http://www.reddit.com/r/cogsci

Your paper should describe in your own words what the scientific article is about, why it is important, and how an understanding of cognitive science informs your interpretation of the article (draw upon topics discussed in class and/or covered in the course readings). Discuss any methodological shortcomings or limitations of the study.  Do you think that the authors’ conclusions are valid? Do the findings constitute a major scientific breakthrough, and why? If the findings are controversial in any way, explain why. You must also evaluate whether the news article did an accurate job in its reporting on the scientific study. Was there anything misleading about the media coverage and/or the quotes made by scientists interviewed for the story? If you were the one writing the news article, what additional detail(s) about the study do you think would have been most helpful to convey to the public? And finally, comment on what kinds of follow-up studies you would like to see done to gain more insight into the issues at hand. When you turn in you paper, you must also include printed copies of both the scientific article and the news article (double-sided printing preferred; color not necessary). Late papers will be penalized by 10 percentage points per day late.

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Due By (Pacific Time) 02/11/2014 12:00 am
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