Bio 103, Lab 8, Oneself as a Biological Entity. III. Thinking
In the previous two labs in this series, we've discovered that human behavior takes time, in part because it involves things happening successively in several different parts of an individual, that these happenings can be influenced by a variety of external variables but also to varying degrees by internal ones, and that "thinking" may be a relevant internal variable. We have also, hopefully, become more sophisticated at posing questions, collecting observations relevant to them, and interpreting such observations in relation to questions.
In this lab we want to further build on our experiences by investigating "thinking" itself. Is "thinking" also something that takes time? that can be altered by both external and internal variables? Its an interesting question, first asked explicitly in the late 1800's with a very clever set of observations then requiring elaborate equipment. Today we can make the same observations more easily using computers, as in Serendip's Time to Think exhibit.
The observational set up allows one to measure various kinds of thinking, as well as to test hypotheses about how they are related to one another. Once you get the hang of it, you can/should develop your own hypotheses about what might or might not influence the various kinds of thinking time. And develop your own experiments. Do one as a group in class. And you're free to do additional ones any place you can find a computer. Some further work might make this a good final lab paper.
Remember that we've reached a phase where we'd like to have our hypotheses and observations sufficiently in hand so that we can generate interesting and well-supported interpretations that in turn lead on to further questions and observations.