All posts by Lauren Frank

Fallacies and Poster

Part 1:

Hasty Generalization:

“Though this article is looking only at classical music, the results support the conclusion that familiar music which promotes a positive mood, increases working memory.”

While the paragraph preceding this sentence provides ample evidence for the claim that certain aspects of classical music affect memory, it would probably be best if more evidence was presented as to the importance of the familiarity of the music as the key factor before expanding the results from classical familiar music, to all familiar music.

Biased Language:

“Two key differences between Mammarella’s study and Jancke and Pascale’s is familiarity with music, and the ability to draw connections between the music and the information to be recalled.”

While it is true that these are both distinctive differences between the two studies, it is somewhat biased to label them as the “key differences” which may be arbitrarily equating more importance to the two things than the studies necessarily imply.  It would be better to provide more of an explanation as to why these two differences are “key” in the context of the studies’ methods and results.

Part 2:

My information will be split up in terms of the sections of the board and organized logically in the same manner as the sections of my paper.  I plan to start on the left with pictures and graphs labelled to represent the studies that provide the best evidence for my conclusion.  In the center will be again graphs and images labelled and explained briefly to provide an overview of the mood-arousal theory which is central to my paper.  In the middle section I will also explain the general premise of the paper, i.e. the question I am asking and the answer the paper presents, as well as any terms or underlying ideas central to the thesis of my paper.  On the right side of the board will be images which represent the applications of the study, i.e. music as a tool in the classroom, workplace, etc.  and also representations of the different ways in which music can effect one’s mind in different situations.

Research Presentation Review

The presentation in some ways helped to focus my research, considering how each article I came across interacted with my research question. In preparation I looked at more general background research in the subject, which helped me to get a grounding in the literature and to begin to focus my question accordingly. In putting together the presentation I also began to get a sense of some differences in viewpoints not just within any individual scholarly society, but between sources of scholaraly information–that is, educational research vs. cognitive science and psychology research vs. more neuroscience oriented research.

The questions I was asked presented some direction for further research, and the idea of using my paper as a forum to present an experimental methodology that would mitigate some of the differences within curernt experiments and answer my research question by considering individually the contributing factors which are currently not often considered in isolation.

5 Cites: Memory

Hallam, Susan; Price, John; Katsarou, Georgia. “The Effects of Background Music on Primary School Pupils’ Task Performance” Educational Studies 28.2 (2002). 12 Oct. 2010

Baur, Barbara; Uttner, Ingo; Ilmberger, Josef; Fesl, Gunther; Mai, Norbert. “Music memory provides access to verbal knowledge in a patient with global amnesia” Neurocase: The Neural Basis of Cognition 6.5 (2000). 12 Oct. 2010

Bertz, William;University of California Press. “Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal”
Vol. 12, No. 3 (Spring, 1995), pp. 353-364. 12 October 2010

Salamé, Pierre; Baddeley, Alan. “Effects of background music on phonological short-term memory” The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology 41.1 (1989). 12 Oct. 2010

Janata, Petr; Tillmann, Barbara; Bharucha, Jamshed. “Listening to polyphonic music recruits domain-general attention and working memory circuits”10.3758/CABN.2.2.121(2002) Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 2, 121-140. October 12 2010.

Of all of the sources, I think that the article “Effects of Background Music on Phonological Short Term Memory” will prove the most promising. I would like to study the effects of music on short term memory in view of music’s impact on long term memory. This article is specific to short term an to background music. It also compares vocal and instrumental music with speech, meaning that it may be able to provide me with a basic understanding of how the different types of music (not generes, but at least vocal v. instrumental) effect memory differently and how this impact differs from that of other potentially distracting noises.

Stallybrass Writing Prompt

Stallybrass means that one’s thoughts should be reactions to the thoughts of (or facts presented by) others. What we believe and all that we think is a reflection of the world we live in; whether it be real life, reading or some other influence, our thoughts stem from experience.

The relevance of this idea to our research is essentially that our research question should not merely be something we dream up on our own (and it seems impossible for this to be the case), but rather a reflection of and reaction to all we have learned about a subject. Our research questions and the way they are shaped will depend upon how we interpret, understand, and believe in the ideas of others. The origin of a research question is not just the researcher him/herself, but instead is derived from external influences which have interested or shaped a questioner in some way.

Research Journal #4

I am interested in researching what causes serial killers to become killers

Because I want to find out if there is any genetic component to serial killing

And this is important because serial killing is currently treated as a social problem and if there is a genetic basis then we cannot tackle the issue until we can understand and address the underlying causes.

1) What are the different types of serial killers and how do they differ?

2) Are there differences between the crimes of or causes affecting male and female serial killers?

3) Are there any cultures or ethnic groups in which serial killing does not exist or is undocumented?

Christopher Columbus: The obvious unknown

The above website has a short biography of Columbus clearly written for children. The story which ends with the line “Columbus not only discovered a New World, but he led the way for other explorers,” even makes some attempt at correcting the “official” Columbus story by pointing out that he was not, in fact, trying to prove that the world was flat. Unfortunately, however, the rest of the site’s story omits several key points regarding Columbus’ life and character. The most obvious part of Columbus’ story which is left out of the “official” version, is that on his first voyage he kidnapped 25 men to bring back to Spain with him, and later kidnapped many more to use as slaves long-term. Though the official story we learn as children hails Columbus as a hero (we still celebrate Columbus Day) in reality, he was a criminal who perpetrated crimes against humanity.

Frederick Douglass Blog #1

The artifact is a contract between Mrs. Frederick Douglass and a Stone Mason for a stone tablet bearing the name Frederick Douglass. The first thing I noticed about the artifact upon reading it, was that the tablet was commissioned two years after Douglass’ death. The price of the tablet, $240, was a large sum of money in 1897, the ability of Douglass’ widow to pay such a sum means that Douglass and she were not poor when he died, and that he left behind a substantial amount of money for his widow—thus Douglass, when alive, was probably very careful in managing his finances. It would make sense, given his childhood of starvation and poverty, for Douglass to be frugal as he understood the value of what money could get one (esp. as his freedom had to be bought). The contract states that the “tablet” is to be placed in Mt. Hope Cemetery in New York. So, it is probable that the tablet is to be Douglass’ headstone. The headstone is very plain bearing bronze leaves around the top and then Douglass’ own name in plain “round” letters. Given how humble a man Frederick Douglass was, it is unsurprising for him to have an equally humble and unadorned stone on his grave. The contract also states that the tablet is to be placed in the cemetery by November 15, 1897. I wondered if there was any significance to this date for Douglass beyond it just being the date by which the craftsman could complete this project.