Psychology 3184F 001 FW23

Research in Psychology of Language

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 



Psychology 3184F  Section 001 

Research in the Psychology of Language 





This course will introduce students to the variety of research methods used in the psychological study of language. Methods used to study reading processes, speech perception and comprehension, and spoken language production will be covered.  


Prerequisite(s): Both Psychology 2801F/G and Psychology 2811A/B, or both the former Psychology 2800E and the former Psychology 2810, and one of Psychology 2115A/B, Psychology 2134A/B or Psychology 2135A/B, PLUS registration in third or fourth year Honours Specialization in Psychology or Honours Specialization in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.  


Third or fourth year Psychology Majors and Psychology Special Students who receive 70% or higher in both Psychology 2801F/G and Psychology 2811A/B, or 70% or higher in the former Psychology 2820E (or 60% or higher in the former Psychology 2800E and the former Psychology 2810), plus 60% or higher in one of Psychology 2115A/B, Psychology 2134A/B or Psychology 2135A/B also may enrol in this course. 


2 lecture hours and 2 laboratory hours, 0.5 course 


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites. 






Instructor:  Dr. Laura Batterink  

Office: Western Interdisciplinary Science Building 6124 

Phone Number: 519.661.2111, ext. 85409  

Office Hours: Friday, 11-12 (held on Zoom), or by appointment  



Teaching Assistant: TBA 

Office Hours: By Appointment 




Time and Location of Classes: Available on Student Center 

Delivery Method: In Person 


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 


2.1 Online Learning Notice: 
Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information. 





No textbook is required for this course. Required articles will be posted on OWL. 






Learning Outcome 

Learning Activity 


Knowledge of Methodologies 


Access, interpret and critically evaluate appropriate research in psychology. 

Read 7 assigned journal articles and answer accompanying thought questions in class 


Participate in 3 in-class experiments and 3 lab visits (eye tracking, virtual baby lab, ERP). 


Search for and read relevant literature for group research project. 


Final exam (2 new articles and questions) 


Research project report (esp. Introduction) 

Application of Knowledge.  



Evaluate the appropriateness of different methodological approaches to address a specific psychological question 

Group research project 

Research project report 

Application of Knowledge.  



Formulate a research hypothesis to address a psychological question and design a research project to test that hypothesis. 

Group research project 

Research project report 

Application of Knowledge.  


Apply relevant quantitative skills to the analysis and interpretation of psychological phenomena 

Excel & SPSS instruction in class. 


Analyze data from 3 in-class experiments. 


Analyze data from group project. 

Results sections: 3 in-class experiments and group research project report 


Data Analysis test 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge 


Use evidence to support claims 

Instruction in writing Introduction & Discussion sections 

Research project report 

Communication Skills.  



Communicate in writing accurately, clearly and logically, using the discourse of the discipline of psychology 

Instruction in writing research reports 

Method and Results section for 3 in-class experiments 

Research project report 

Communication Skills.  


Communicate orally accurately, clearly and logically, using the discourse of the discipline of psychology 

Instruction in oral presentations of an experiment 

Group presentations of proposal and final project 

Autonomy and Professional Capacity. 

Apply ethical standards to the practice of their own research 

Ethics instruction in class 

Ethics forms for group project 

Autonomy and Professional Capacity. 



Incorporate feedback to change performance 

Written feedback given on in-class lab reports 

Method and Results section for in-class experiments 

Research project report 

Autonomy and Professional Capacity. 


Work collaboratively with others to achieve a project goal 

Group research project 

Research project report 





The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


Course performance will be evaluated based on the following sources: 

  1. Methods and results section for three pre-programmed experiments – combined 15%
  2. Small group research project:

Oral presentation research proposal – 5% 

Oral presentation completed project – 5% 

Project execution and group participation (incl. ethics forms, programming of the experiment, data collection, self and peer ratings of group contribution) – 5% 

Written report – 35% 

  1. Midterm data analysis test – 10%
  2. Final exam – 20%
  3. Class participation and low-stakes group assignments – combined 5%


The written report is expected to be at least 2500 words in length. A number of additional “low-stakes” assignments are due throughout the course. These assignments are together worth a total of 5% of the final grade. The final exam will be mixed format (including both MCQ and short-answer format).  





Late Assignments: Without submitted documentation (academic consideration from Academic Counselling), a late penalty of 10% of the assignment’s value per day (e.g., 2 of the 20-point total value) will be applied to papers submitted after the deadline. If you have received academic consideration for this assignment, the deadline will be adjusted as recommended by Academic Counselling.  


Midterm and final exams and oral presentations will be rescheduled only with documented academic consideration.  


If you are ill and cannot attend class to complete one of the “low-stakes” group assignments, you may either Zoom in with your group to complete the assignment, or else simply skip the assignment. Because some student absences are expected, the lowest mark for the group assignments will be dropped from the final score.  


PLEASE NOTE: Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations, you must pass the essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must be at least 50%. 


This course is exempt from the Senate requirement that students receive assessment of their work accounting for at least 15% of their final grade at least three full days before the date of the deadline for withdrawal from a course without academic penalty. 



The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 


A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 




Lab 1 Sept 30 

Lab 2 Oct 7 

Lab 3 Oct 21 

Data Analysis Test Oct 24 

Proposal Presentation Nov 16 

Complete Project Presentation Dec 7 

Written Report Dec 8 

Final Exam                                        TBA – scheduled by Office of the Registrar  







Course Introduction, software logistics 


Overview of experimental methods  


Excel spreadsheet instruction 


Lab 1: Lexical decision task 


Lab 1 analysis 


Lab 2: Priming 


Lab 2 analysis 


Group project: initial research, select topic  


Thanksgiving (No Class) 


Lab 3: Self-paced reading 


Lab 3 analysis 


Speech processing; class experiment on effects of speaker gender on spoken word recognition; gender biases in AI voice recognition  


Consultations on projects: research question 


Data Analysis Test  


Fall Reading Break (No class) 


Fall Reading Break (No class) 


Writing Introductions; Human Ethics 


Consultations on projects: methodology 


Experiment programming tutorial session 


Group project proposal presentations 


Final experiment programming help session 


Mechanisms of language learning: statistical learning and word segmentation  


Participant Testing; peer review deadline for Intro & Methods (optional) 


Consultations on Projects: data analysis 


Event related potentials  


Project presentations 



A full list of readings and assignments will be posted for each day to OWL. 




We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 





Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 




If a remote proctoring service is used, the service will require you to provide personal information (including some biometric data). The session will be recorded. In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. More information about remote proctoring is available in the Online Proctoring Guidelines. Please ensure you are familiar with any proctoring service’s technical requirements before the exam. Additional guidance is available at the following link: 


* Please note that Zoom servers are located outside Canada. If you would prefer to use only your first name or a nickname to login to Zoom, please provide this information to the instructor in advance of the test or examination. See this link for technical requirements:   




Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 




In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site/Current Student Information for information on the following:  


- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct 

- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations 

- Policy on Attendance 

- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines 

- Policy for Assignments 

- Short Absences 

- Extended Absences 

- Documentation 

- Academic Concerns 

- Calendar References 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.