Need help with this assignment for my class Principles of Psychology
PSY 200: Section O03P
for Conducting a Psychology Experiment
texbook the science of psychology an appreciative view Laura a king
Purpose: Like other sciences, psychology utilizes the scientific method and bases conclusions upon empirical evidence. When conducting an experiment, it is important to follow the five basic steps of the scientific method:
• Ask a question that can be tested• Design a study and collect data• Analyze results and reach conclusions• Share the results with the scientific community• Replicate the results
Product: Produce a formal write-up of your experiment in the same format required in a professional journal article or lab report:
• Title page• Abstract• Introduction• Method• Results• Discussion• References
I know that picking a research problem can be one of the most challenging steps. After all, there are so many different topics you might choose to investigate. So consider some of the following:
• Investigate a commonly held belief. Folk psychology is a good source of unanswered questions that can serve as the basis for psychological research. For example, many people believe that staying up all night to cram for a big exam can hurt test performance. You could conduct a study in which you compare the test scores of students who stayed up all night studying, versus the scores of students who got a full night’s sleep prior to the exam.• Review psychology literature. Published studies are a great source of unanswered research questions. In many cases, the authors will even note the need for further research. Find a published study that you find intriguing, and then come up with some questions that require further exploration.• Think about everyday problems. There are many practical applications for psychology research. Explore various problems that you or others face each day, and then consider how you could research potential solutions. For example, you might investigate different memorization strategies to determine which methods are most effective.
Design a research project in which you incorporate one of the following techniques:
• Correlation study• Case study• Naturalistic observation
Correlation study — Design an instrument (e.g., a questionnaire) to measure a specific hypothesis and collect data on at least 30 people. You may have the class fill out your survey if you wish. In addition, I may be able to arrange to have other intro. psychology classes fill it out.
Case study — Find a child with whom you do not have a close relationship (an acquaintance is fine). Interview the child’s parent(s) and other adults that are close to the child (e.g., grandparents, teachers), and, if possible, observe the child in as many contexts as possible (e.g., home, school, playground). Then, pick a theory of child development (e.g., Erickson) and apply it to “your” child.
Naturalistic observation — Observe a specific behavior (e.g., nonverbal communication) at the mall, zoo, family gathering, restaurant, etc.
All research papers should have the sections listed below. The length guidelines are suggestions. They do not need to be followed to the letter, especially if you are doing a case study.
Introduction (1/2 page)
In most cases, researchers do not start from scratch. That is, there is usually an already existing body of knowledge before the researcher designs his/her study. In fact, studies usually build on previous studies and are designed to answer questions raised by previous research. For example, if you wanted to examine gender differences in nonverbal communication, your study may be motivated by 1) previous studies that showed that people do, in fact, communicate without speaking and 2) previous studies that showed that there are gender differences in verbal communication.
The introduction should, therefore, contain a brief summary of related research that has already been done, and explain how your study will add to the existing body of knowledge. The hypothesis of your study should be found in this section.
Method (2-3 pages total) Each of the following should be a subheading:
• Study participants — who are you studying: # of people, gender, age, and other relevant demographic information should be included here.• Instrument — If you are using a questionnaire, it should be described here. What kind of questions are you asking (e.g., true-false, multiple choice)? Give a few sample questions. If you are doing a case study, this is the place to describe the method you used to collect your information (e.g., interviews, observations). If you are doing an observation, what specific behaviors are you looking for and how are you measuring them?• Procedure — This is where you describe exactly how you collected the information. Be specific here. If you did interviews: Did you ask everyone the same questions? What sorts of questions did you ask? If you did an observation: where were you located? Did the study participants know they were being observed? If you did a questionnaire: Was it administered individually or to an entire group? Was it read to the participants, or did they have to read it themselves? These are just examples. You probably will need to include some other information as well.
Results (1/2 – 1 page)
What did your research reveal? Just state the findings. Do not interpret or evaluate anything. You will do this in the next section. This section should be brief and to the point.
Discussion (1/2 – 1 page)
This is typically the most enjoyable part to write, but it is also often the hardest. This is where you should interpret and evaluate your study. What do your results mean? You should discuss your findings in reference to your hypothesis. If you did an observational or correlational study: Did your study support your hypothesis? Theorize why it did or did not. If you did a case study: Did your findings fit into the theory of development that you picked? Explain why you think they did or did not. For everyone, did anything surprise you or did everything come out just as you expected? Are there any follow-up studies that you think should be done?
Write up and Share Your Results
Your final task in conducting a psychology experiment is to communicate your results. By sharing your experiment with the scientific community, you are contributing to the knowledge base on that topic. One of the most common ways to share research results is to publish the study in a peer-reviewed professional journal. Other methods include sharing results at conferences, in book chapters, or in academic presentations.
The paper should be 4-5 pages in length. It must be typed and double-spaced with standard margins. You should have a cover sheet with your name, the course, date, my name, and the title of the paper. You must photocopy the article and attach it to the paper. You must also have a reference section (i.e., bibliography), properly citing the article and any other sources you use (e.g., your textbook). It is expected that you use additional sources, beyond your textbook.
Grading: This assignment is worth 100 points and will be evaluated according to the criteria below.
➢ Writing quality and style (Approximately 20% of the grade) — You must precisely follow the assignment requirements outlined in the preceding pages. Your ideas should be expressed clearly and specifically, and the paper must be free of grammatical errors and typos. Overall neatness is important➢ Content accuracy and depth (Approximately 80% of the grade) — What you write should be accurate, based on the current psychological literature. Be sure to give credit to others through citations and references. Your work should reflect a great deal of thought and organization. It should demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the topic, beyond that provided by the textbook