Unit 09

Unit 9:
Perception & Attention to the Internet
Unit 9: Assignment #1 (due before 11:59 pm Central on MON MAR 23):

  1. First, read Kendra Cherry’s (no date) article, “What Is Perception?
  2. Then, choose one of the following seven questions and complete its associated activities:
    1. Can Psychology Inform Good Web Design?
    2. What Are CAPTCHAs and How Do They Work?
    3. What Is Virtual Reality and How Does It Work?
    4. Are There Any Benefits to E-Reading?
    5. Are There Any Benefits to Taking Photos of our Experience?
    6. Why Is #TheDress Perceived as White/Gold by Some People and Blue/Black by Other People?
    7. Can We Identify Photos on the Internet that Have Been Photoshopped?
  3. Go to the Unit 9: Assignment #1 and #4 Discussion Board and make a new post of at least 200 words in which you
    1. identify which of the seven questions you chose to learn the answer to;
    2. tell us why you chose that question (e.g., do you have any personal experience with it?); and
    3. answer the question you chose by referring to all the articles you read or videos you watched to answer the question (be sure to refer to the articles or videos with the authors’ or speakers’ names).

Unit 9: Assignment #2 (due before 11:59 pm Central on TUE MAR 24):

  1. To answer the question of whether the Internet is shortening our attention, first do the following:
    1. Read Thorin Klosowski’s (2012) article, “Is the Internet Really Making Me Stupid, Psychotic, and Constantly Distracted?
    2. Read Vishaka Muhunthan’s (2013) article, “Well It’s Too Late Now: What the Internet Has Done to Our Minds.”
    3. Read Tom Stafford’s (2012) article, “Does the Internet Rewire Your Brain?
    4. Read Fergus Kane’s (2017) article, “After Reading This, Your Brain Will Never Be the Same.”
    5. Read Daniel Willingham’s (2015) article, “Smartphones Don’t Make Us Dumb.”
    6. Conduct, on yourself or a friend, Brooks’ Multi-Tasking (1968) Experiment.
    7. Watch Safely Home’s brief (2017) YouTube video, “No call or text is worth your life. #ItCanWait.”
    8. Read Tarannum’s (2017) article, “Is Multitasking Even a Thing?
    9. Read the abstract of Bendner et al.’s (2017) article, “Dynamic, Continuous Multitasking Training Leads to Task-Specific Improvements but Does Not Transfer across Action Selection Tasks.”
    10. Read Science Daily’s (2011) article, “Brief Diversions Vastly Improve Focus,” which reports the empirically proven benefits of taking brief breaks on attention (in general).
    11. Read these abstracts, each of which report the empirically proven benefits of employees taking brief Internet-related breaks on their workplace attention and productivity.
  2. Next, watch Professor Gernsbacher’s lecture video “How Is the Internet Affecting Our Attention” [the transcript is available here].
  3. Go to the Unit 9: Assignment #2 Discussion Board and create a new post of at least 200 words in which you discuss one of the 12 points made in Professor Gernsbacher’s video (and expanded upon in the articles you read, video you watched, or the Brooks’ Multi-Tasking Experiment you conducted on yourself or a friend).
    1. You must choose a point that no one else in your section has yet discussed.
    2. You must refer to the articles you read, the video you watched, or the Brooks’ Multi-Tasking Experiment that you conducted that are most relevant to the point you choose. Be sure to refer to the articles, video, or experiment with the authors’ names.

Unit 9: Assignment #3 (due before 11:59 pm Central on WED MAR 25):

  1. Have you heard the (false) claim that “human beings now have an attention span shorter than a goldfish” and it’s all the Internet’s fault?
    1. To become familiar with this (false) claim, read through this set of extracts from news sites that reported the claim. (Note that the set of news sites includes the TV broadcast, NBC Nightly News; therefore, it wasn’t only Internet-based sites that reported the claim.)
    2. Now is also a great time to become familiar with the expression NB, if you’re not already familiar with the expression.
  2. Take a look at the page of the “2015 study by Microsoft” that was responsible for (falsely) promoting the claim.
  3. Lastly, read more recent reports from the Wall Street Journal and BBC that have debunked the (false) claim.
  4. Go to the Unit 9: Assignment #3 Discussion Board and make a new post of 200 words in which you tell us
    1. whether you had previously heard the (false) claim;
    2. which news site that reported the (false) claim surprised you the most;
    3. which news site that reported the (false) claim surprised you the least;
    4. why do you think this (false) claim was reported so widely; that is, what is it about the (false) claim that made it so popular; and
    5. if you heard this (false) claim in the future, would you believe it? Why or why not?

Unit 9: Assignment #4 (due before 11:59 pm Central on FRI MAR 27):

  1. Read all the posts written by the other members of your section in the Unit 9: Assignment #1 and #4 Discussion Board.
  2. Review from the Course Syllabus the “Best Way to Respond to Another Student’s Discussion Board Post” (p. 6). Remember that your responses should always include at least two of the four recommended components.
  3. Then, write TWO response posts:
    1. one response post should be to a student who read about (and discussed) the same question as you; and
    2. the other response post should be to a student who read about (and discussed) a different question than you.
    3. If no other student read about (and discussed) the same question as you, then you may respond to two students, each of whom read about (and discussed) a different question than you.
    4. Each of your two response posts should be at least 200 words.

Unit 9: Assignment #5 (due before 11:59 pm Central on SUN MAR 29):

  1. Meet online with your NEW Chat Group (which you formed during Unit 8) for a one-hour text-based Group Chat at a time/date that your Chat Group previously arranged.
  2. Prior to your one-hour Group Chat, each member of your Chat Group must choose (and do) ONE of the following three tasks:
    1. Read Simons and Chabris’ (2015) article, “A Simple Solution for Distracted Driving.”
      • Then, install and use for at least one day a smartphone app (such as AT&T DriveMode app, or turn on iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature) that silences incoming text messages and alerts while you’re driving and auto-sends a reply telling the sender you’re driving and will reply later.
    2. Read Schewe and Ward-Reichard’s (2012) article, “Time Management Tricks and Techniques,” in particular, the section on the Pomodoro Technique.
    3. Read Austin’s (2017) article, “How To Block Social Sites for Your Own Damn Good.”
      • Then, install and use for at least one day a website or app blocker, either for your smartphone (e.g., FocusTime for iOS; ClearFocus for Android) or for your web browser (e.g., WasteNoTime for Chrome or Safari; StayFocsd or StrictWorkflow for Chrome) or for your laptop (e.g., Isolator for the Mac; Le Dimmer for Windows; Anti-Social for both Mac and Windows).
      • IMPORTANT NOTE: You do not need to use the specific apps/plugins listed as examples above. But you do need to download, install, and use for at least one day (1) a block-texts-while-driving app OR (2) a work-break-timer (Pomodoro-type) app/plugin OR (3) a block-distracting-websites-while-working app/plugin.
      • Google around for other apps/plugins if you don’t want to use any of the examples above (or if you’re looking for one for your particular smartphone, laptop, or browser). You may use all three types of applications, but you must use at least ONE and for at least one day. If you’re already using one of these apps/plugins, good for you! But you must download and use another one, for at least one day.
      • Also, for fun, take a look at “The Isolator, A Bizarre Helmet Invented in 1925 Used to Help Increase Focus and Concentration.” The existence of “The Isolator,” suggests that way back in the 1920s, even before the advent of TV (much less the Internet), people were trying to come up with devices to help them focus their attention.
  3. During your one-hour Group Chat:
    1. First, introduce yourselves to one another. During your introduction, tell the other members of your Chat Group what you are working on for your Term Project, including which presentation medium you are using, and how much progress you have made so far on your Term Project.
    2. Second, discuss how the Internet (and various apps/plugins) can be used to help direct focus, to block out distractions, and to schedule attentional breaks.
    3. Third, discuss your specific experience with the apps/plugins that each of you tried for one day.
      • Which ones would your Chat Group recommend to a friend, roommate, or sibling?
      • Which ones might you continue using beyond the one-day trial period you made for this assignment?
      • If you designed a better app/plugin for directing focus, blocking out distractions (including text messages while driving), or scheduling attentional breaks, what would it look like?
  4. At the end of your one-hour Group Chat,
    1. Nominate one member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Chat) to make a post on the Unit 9: Assignment #5 Discussion Board that summarizes your Group Chat in at least 200 words.
    2. Nominate a second member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to save the Chat transcript as a webpage, as described in the Course How To (under the topic, “How to Save and Attach a Small Group Text Chat Transcript”).
      1. Then, this member of the Chat Group needs to make a post on the Unit 9: Assignment #5 Discussion Board and attach the Chat transcript, saved as a webpage (i.e., .html), to that Discussion Board post.
      2. Remember: To attach the Chat transcript, saved as a webpage, click on the word “Attach.” (Do not click on the sidebar menu “Files.”)
    3. Nominate a third member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to make another post on the Unit 9: Assignment #5 Discussion Board that states the name of your Chat Group, the names of the Chat Group members who participated in the Chat, the date of your Chat, and the start and stop time of your Group Chat.
    4. If only two persons participated in the Chat, then one of those two persons needs to do two of the above three tasks.
    5. Before ending the Chat, your Chat Group should try to arrange the time for the Group Chat you will need to hold during the next Unit (Unit 10: Assignment #5).

Unit 9: Assignment #6 (due before 11:59 pm Central on SUN MAR 29):

  1. Complete the Unit 9 Review Sheet (which is a fillable PDF; refer to previous Units’ instructions for how to download, save on your own computer, rename, and then fill in a fillable PDF).
    1. Rename the unfilled PDF to be YourLastName_PSY-532_Unit09_CourseReview.pdf; then fill it in.
    2. Remember that each Review Sheet in this course will be cumulative, so be sure to fill in ALL pages.
  2. Continue to work on your Term Project.
    1. If you’ve chosen the Whole Course option, overview/journal the current Unit. Take a screenshot of your overview/journal of the current Unit.
    2. If you’ve chosen the Deep Dive option, begin outlining (or otherwise organizing) your completed research. Take a screenshot of your initial (i.e., beginning) research outline or other way that you are beginning to organize your completed research.
    3. Compose at least 200 words describing the work you’ve done so far on your Term Project. Remember that you should be allocating about two hours per Unit to your Term Project.
    4. Save your 200 words as a PDF that includes your screenshot and that is named YourLastName_PSY-532_Unit09_TermProject.pdf.
  3. Go to Unit 9: Assignment #6 (which is an Assignment link, not a Discussion Board) and
    1. use the “File Upload” tool to attach/upload your completed Unit 9 Review Sheet (click “Choose File” to attach/upload your filled-in PDF);
    2. click on “+ Add Another File” to attach/upload your 200-word composition about your Term Project (saved in PDF; remember to include your screenshot in your PDF); and
    3. immediately after submitting your assignment, check to make sure that your filled-in PDF is really filled-in (isn’t empty) and that your PDF about your Term Project is also attached and complete.

Congratulations, you have finished Unit 9! Onward to Unit 10!