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Mid-Term Paper

Semester 2 2010/2011

National University of Singapore Department of Psychology PL1101E: INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY Please read the instructions on this document carefully. Answer only ONE of the two following questions in the form of a short essay. Your term paper should be typed, doublespaced using Times New Roman, font size of 12, and at least 1" margins (template available in assignment workbin (IVLE). It should be no longer than 2 pages (excluding cover and reference page). The term paper is to be submitted in soft copy only to the workbin (IVLE) by Friday, March 04, 2011, 5 pm. Late essays will automatically incur a penalty of 10%. No late essays will be accepted after Monday, March 07, 2011. Question 1 Imagine that you have a medical condition that forces you to let go of ONE structure in your brain. i. State which structure you would choose to lose (e.g., hippocampus). What functions would you most likely lose after this structure is removed? ii. Explain why and how losing this structure may not have much impact on your life. Include in your answer other functions that you still have which can compensate for the loss of function from the removed structure? Write your answer in support of your decision. Question 2 Classical Conditioning and the Pupil Dilation Response Here is a simple classical conditioning experiment that you can perform on yourself at home. You will need a bell (or something you can ring), a hand-held mirror, and a room that becomes completely dark when the light is turned off. Hold the bell while standing in the room near the light switch. Once in position, you should ring the bell and then immediately turn off the light. After waiting in total darkness for about 15 seconds, turn the light back on. Wait another 15 seconds with the light on, and then ring the bell and immediately turn the light back off (again waiting 15 seconds in the dark). Repeat this procedure 20 to 30 times, making sure that in each case the bell is rung immediately before the light is turned off. After numerous pairings, you should be ready to see the results. With the light on, watch your eyes closely in the mirror and then ring the bell. Your pupils should dilate slightly even without a change in light! Explain the above process in terms of classical conditioning. State explicitly what the US, UR, CS, and CR are. Propose another (i.e., original, you cannot use examples from the textbook, the lecture slides or the one above!) classical conditioning experiment that you can perform at home. Again, state explicitly what the US, UR, CS, and CR are in your proposed experiment.