Assignment 3: Writing a Method Section
Due 8 November at 11:59pm
A great way to improve your technical writing as a budding psychological researcher is to use published writing as a model. In this assignment, you will review method sections from the articles in your literature review and practice writing your own method section using them as a guide. The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize yourself with how psychologists describe their research method and to get you started on the method section of your own research proposal. You will also use this assignment to identify the best statistical analysis to test your hypothesis in your research proposal. Note this assignment is graded out of 50 but will be worth only 5 points of your grade.
The final submission will be your copy of this document with all questions answered. You may delete the instructions on the first page. The document should include your name and the title of the assignment, use 10 or 12 point professional font, and have 1-inch margins. Submit this document in .docx or .doc format on D2L.
Part 1: Variables
Pick one of your articles and use it to answer the following.
1. What is the research question in your example article? This is typically found in the introduction section or the abstract. You may need to make one up based on what you know about the article. (2 points) Example: Does the color of a snake influence how scared people are of it?
What is the research question in your study? (2 points)
2. What is the hypothesis of the example article? This is typically found in the introduction section. Consider this a guess answer to the research question. (2 points) Example: Participants who watch a video of colorful snakes will be more scared than participants who watch a video of non-colorful snakes.
What is the hypothesis in your study? (2 points)
3. What is the independent variable in the example article? This is usually the experimental condition/manipulation or the causal factor. What type of variable is it (e.g., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio)? (2 points) Example: Color of snake (colorful or non-colorful). This is a nominal variable.
What is your study’s independent variable? What type of variable is it (e.g., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio)? (2 points)
4. What is the dependent variable in this article? This is usually measured at the end of an experiment or the outcome variable. What type of variable is it (e.g., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio)? (2 points) Example: Perceived scariness of the snake. This is an interval variable because we are measuring it on a Likert-type scale from 1 to 10.
What is your study’s dependent variable? What type of variable is it (e.g., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio)? (2 points)
Part 2: Participants
You can use multiple articles for the rest of this assignment. In your articles’ method sections, find where the authors discuss the participants in the study.
1. Copy and paste two examples where the authors indicate the number and demographics of participants in their study. (2 points) Example: One hundred participants aged 35 to 55 (M = 40.1, SD = 7.8) participated in this study. The majority of participants self-identified as women (73%) and of East Asian descent (53%).
Now, think of your own research study. Using the sentences above as a model, write 1-2 sentences describing your ideal research population. Include the reason why you consider this an ideal population to study your topic. (2 points)
2. Copy and paste two specific descriptions of how participants were recruited. (2 points) Example: Twenty-two full-time employees participated in the survey after receiving an email advertisement from their manager (40% participation rate).
Using the sentences above as a model, write 1-2 sentences describing how you will recruit your ideal research population. Include the reason why you consider this an ideal method to recruit your participants. (2 points)
Part 3: Design and Procedure
In your articles’ method sections, find where the authors discuss the design and procedure of the study.
1. Copy and paste two examples where authors discuss the design of their research. (2 points) Example: This study utilized a longitudinal survey design. A longitudinal design will allow us to understand if coffee consumption in the morning causes participants to take fewer naps in the afternoon on the same day.
Using the sentences above as a model, write 1-2 sentences describing your research design and why it is appropriate for your topic of study. (2 points)
2. Copy and paste two examples where authors discuss the procedure of their research. (2 points) Example: Each participant was required to watch either a video of a shark (fear condition) or a baby sloth (calm condition). After the video was complete, they completed measures of anxiety and affect. They were then debriefed on the purpose of the study.
Using the sentences above as a model, describe the procedure of your research, or how you will collect your data. This may be longer for more complex experimental studies and shorter for survey designs. It may be helpful to start with a numbered list of steps. (2 points)
Part 4: Measures
In your articles’ method sections, find where the authors discuss the measures they used in the study.
1. Find descriptions of measurement scales. Copy five examples where the authors describe a measurement scale. (5 points) Example: We used the Pizza Toppings Preference scale (PTP; Pepperoni et al., 2020) to measure participants’ preferences for different pizza toppings. The PTP uses a 5-point Likert-type format with responses ranging from 1 (do not love at all) to 5 (love a lot). Example items include “onions”, “mushrooms”, and “pineapple.”
Using the sentences above as a model, describe all of the measures you will use in your study. (5 points)
Part 5: Analytic plan
For this final part, you no longer need to use your example articles. Here, we will identify the best analysis for your hypothesis.
Using your answers to questions 3 and 4 in Part 1, note the your independent and dependent variables and what type of variable they are (e.g., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio):
Use the decision tree below to identify the best analysis for your study.
1. What statistical test did you identify in the decision tree? (3 points)
2. Knowing what you know about the analysis you identified in the decision tree, explain why this statistical test is best for testing your hypothesis. (5 points)