Sample post: How many Ph.D.’s does it take to make Chocolate?

This an example of the type of post you will write.  This is adapted from a post written by Pamela Nicole Romero and published on June 26, 2017.

If you ever want to see students and professors alike act like children, take them to a chocolate factory. When we went to the Chocolate Museum last week, we got a demo on how to prepare milk chocolate. We had to pour the chocolate onto the table and move it around with two spatulas. The Chocolate Museum speaker’s quick moves reminded me of an artist painting fast yet ever precise brushstrokes.

I knew that moving chocolate around was harder than it seemed, so I was not surprised when some of my classmates struggled to move the chocolate around fast enough. The presenter’s directions caught my eye as he said, “scrape the smaller spatula on the bigger one.” So what separated his movements from the rest of ours? I hypothesized it had something to do with not only his years of experience, but also at how he looked at the task itself. He differentiated his hand movements on the basis of the size of the tool each hand held….

And that is how I ran into a study titled, “Object Properties and Cognitive Load in the Formation of Associative Memory during Precision Lifting” that looks at how the size of an object and our memory of its previous use influences how we lift it up (Li et al., 2009).

In this study, researchers studied how we associate how an object looks (its size or color) to how much it weighs. Associative memory is “the ability to learn and remember the relationship between two unrelated items” (Suzuki, 2015). So we form associative memories when we learn to associate a small spoon as relatively lightweight, for example.

Figure 1 (Li et al., 2009). Diagram of the objects and force measurement device used.

To study how much force the participants estimated they needed to lift different objects, researchers calculated how much force was exerted during the first 70 ms of an objected being lifted. Since it is so early in the process of lifting an object, this short timespan tells researchers more about how much force participants thought they needed.

Figure 2 (Li et al., 2009). Y-axis (label not provided) measures average grip force (N).

Researchers found that participants relied the most on size to estimate how much force to use when lifting an object with unknown weight (Fig. 5). Results also showed that participants learned to associate, to a lesser extent, an object’s color with its weight (Figure 5).

So this study suggests that my classmates can someday also succeed at mixing chocolate just as well as the museum speaker could. All they might need could be some more practice, so they too can learn to associate how much force they should use when using the small and big spatula.


  1. Bouguyon, K. (2015). Making Chocolate like a Pro | NBB in Paris. Retrieved June 26, 2017, from
  2. Li, Y., Randerath, J., Bauer, H., Marquardt, C., Goldenberg, G., & Hermsd?rfer, J. (2009). Object properties and cognitive load in the formation of associative memory during precision lifting. Behavioural Brain Research, 196(1), 123–130.
  3. Suzuki, W. (2015). Associative Learning and the Hippocampus. Retrieved June 26, 2017, from

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