Social Psychology Demonstrations

Demonstrations are a fun way to learn psychology and bring it to your friends and family. And, as a bonus, you can come back and tell the class what happened! In pairs, you will be assigned to do one demonstration to try out on a handful of people (6-8 or so). You will then teach the concept to the class and report what happened when you tried it out. You will also write a short paper.

Presentation (20 pts): Easy. Create a presentation in PowerPoint (required). This presentation needs, more than anything, to be CLEAR! It should be about 5 minutes long (not longer).

  • Describe the phenomenon (find the info in the text and your primary sources).
  • Describe what you did, that is, your method (show us your stimulus materials).
  • Describe what happened - did most people conform to expectations? If not, why do you think they didn't?

Your presentation will be graded on

  • clarity -- did you explain your concepts, methods, and results clearly?
  • engagement -- was your audience engaged in your presentation through interesting slides, good intonation in your speech, and any other means?
  • accuracy -- did you accurately use and apply course concepts in your description?

Paper (40 pts): The paper should follow the format of an empirical research report but does not need to be quite as formal.

  • In the introduction, describe the concept/phenomenon briefly (probably in a couple of paragraphs). You need to CITE primary sources here - use can use PSYCINFO to find at least 2 primary source JOURNAL ARTICLES.
  • In the method, mention how many people you included and why you chose those people. Describe the task you had people do.
  • The results will be descriptive - in general what did people do, what was their reaction. Did it go as planned? Averages may be good to include too, if appropriate.
  • Finally, the discussion section should simply focus on whether or not the demo "worked" overall, and why you think it did (or didn't).

You should include your stimulus materials as well. I expect the paper will probably be 2-4 typed, double-spaced pages. The paper is due on the day you give your presentation in class unless other arrangements have been made.


  • I will assign each pair a general topic, but you will need to come talk to me at least one week before your topic is presented in class to discuss a more specific project.