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L.O.P. Rap

Psychology students opt out of paper, into rap video

Sigmund Freud, meet Naughty by Nature.

Three students in a Longwood University psychology class recently produced a rap video in lieu of turning in a paper.

Dr. Stephanie Buchert has offered the music video option since she began teaching Cognitive Psychology in 2005, but this was the first time students had taken her up on the alternative assignment.

"Students had probably never chosen the video because it's more work," said Buchert, associate professor of psychology, adding that the course focuses on the study of mental processes, including different types of memory, decision-making, reasoning and language.

The 4-1/2-minute video was created by and stars Kellie Neurauter, who graduated in May 2012, and seniors Lauren Lauderdale and Jessica Rossi. The video is titled "L.O.P." for Levels of Processing, a concept taught in the course, and features the instrumental from the 1991 hit "O.P.P." by the hip-hop group Naughty by Nature.

"The video is about the Levels of Processing model of memory, which says that the more deeply you process something, the better you'll remember it," Buchert said. "I think the students learned a lot because they made it meaningful to their lives."

Buchert first got the idea of offering the music video option after seeing a video that students at another school had produced for a statistics class during the 1990s. For Buchert's assignment at Longwood, students had to follow the same guidelines for the video as for writing a paper.

"They had to explain the L.O.P. model, they had to incorporate a recent empirical article on the subject, and they had to read and explain what the researchers had done. Plus, each of the three students had to do an equal amount of work and had to rap for an equal time," Buchert said.

The video was filmed and edited by Neurauter's husband, Ryan, who plays bass in a rock band and has recording equipment. The students wrote the lyrics, then did the sound recording in Neurauter's Farmville home. The last step was the video recording, during which they lip-synched to the music.

For the chorus, they sing "You're down with L.O.P.," a variation of the lyric "You're down wit' O.P.P." in the Naughty by Nature song, which became a popular catchphrase in the early 1990s.

"Dr. Buchert chose the background music, and we had to come up with the lyrics and do the video," Neurauter said. "Our words had to match all of her specifications. We pretty much had to put our paper in a rap song.

"We had a blast doing it. It was a lot of work, more than we thought it'd be. We decided to do it because we were bored with papers and had so many due that week. It was a new experience for us."

The filming was done in two days, then the editing took four or five days, all of which was done over spring break. The Tuesday after break, the video was ready for its premiere during class.

Buchert was impressed. "The students enjoyed doing it, and I was happy with the final product. They did a fabulous job; it was much more professional than I expected. I thought it would be a rinky-dink thing. When it was shown in class, the other students were astounded."