IAT804 – Assignment 3a: Experimental Approaches

Assignment 3a: Experimental Approaches (5%)

You will work in groups of 2 people. You have been tasked with conducting an experimental study that explores if a game-based neurofeedback application can effectively support people to improve their ability to self-regulate their attention used as an intervention in a single session. This study uses a mixed within-between experiment. The independent variables are intervention/control group (between groups) and assessment time point (within groups). One group of participants used the real neurofeedback application and the second group (control) used a sham version of the neurofeedback application. The dependent variables include a two part attentional test, the average “attentive” brainwave values during game play, and a self-report survey. Measures were administered at different time points in the study.

You will review the background of the study, including the context and the research problems, the specific data collection methods used, the analysis procedures, and the analysis. You will write and interpret the results in light of four hypotheses and write a discussion and conclusion.


1. Read the paper, familiarize yourself with main research question, four hypotheses, and independent and dependent variables.

  • The introduction, related work, and part of the study methods sections of a paper describing your experimental study – (Word filePDF file)
  • An export of the Zotero references library for the paper (rdf file)
  • web site about the neurofeedback system
  • A video of the Stones sustained attention game.
  • A demo of the SART attention test.

2. Review the data analysis plan. Make sure you are clear on which data is used to address which hypothesis.

  • The study design and data analysis plan document. (PDF)

3. Import the data into the statistics package(s) you are using (Excel, Open Office, SPSS, JMP, etc.). Create exploratory plots for each hypothesis. Run descriptive and inferential statistics and export the JMP Journal (as .jrn) or other software output.

4. Review the output files looking for evidence to address each hypothesis.

5. Write a short results section for your findings (max. 3 pages) structured by hypotheses. Each hypothesis should be addressed in its own subsection and include descriptive and inferential results that provide evidence to support or refute the hypothesis. Include graphs with error bars to show significant results.

6. Write a short discussion section (max. 1 page) for your findings where you synthesize the results to address the overarching research question, providing an assessment of the effectiveness of the neurofeedback application as it was used in this intervention. Include a brief discussion of limitations.

7. Write a short conclusion providing the main contribution of the work, and suggestions for future work.


You will receive a recommendation of Poor, Satisfactory, Good, or Excellent on the below aspects. This is meant to provide an overall impression of each section of your document but does not map directly to a final grade. For example, just because you get all “Good" ratings does not mean you automatically get a ‘B’. The evaluator will base your final grade on the overall quality of your submission, taking into account all of the below listed sections where some may be emphasized more than others.

  • Results
    • Does it describe the results in an objective manner?
    • Does it report descriptive statistics such as means and standard deviation in text and graphs?
    • Does it report what inferential statistics were conducted and what the results were in APA format?
    • Does it state of the hypotheses were rejected or supported?
  • Discussion
    • Does it concisely describe what the results mean?
    • Does it describe what designers should do based on the results?
    • Are the interpretations reasonable given the data? Do they match the data?
    • Are limitations discussed?
  • Conclusion
    • Is it concise and to the point?
    • Does it summarize the situation you are studying and why?
    • Does it offer the key take-aways from the study?
  • Writing Quality
    • Is the document written at a high quality as expected at the graduate university level?
    • Are there spelling, grammar, or formatting mistakes?
    • Is the writing interesting and engaging?


Create a paper that contains the write-ups from above. You should use the same format as the start of the paper, which is given above. Submit a paper copy in class.

Submit your JMP Journal (.jrn file) or equivalent by email.

Assignments over the word/page limit will receive a penalty of 10% or only be graded up to the word/page limit, at the discretion of the instructor.

Resource: quantitative research methods summaries and “cheat-sheets"

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