Lanier Technical College
Design Your Own Research Study
The assignment is to complete a research study testing the psychological concept of your choice. You will conduct your research by surveying individuals that represent your designated population. You will work out your study, and write your paper following APA format. Data analysis must be completed and include graphs and inferential statistics.
Picking your topic
For this project, you must do a correlational study answering any question related to psychology. You must collect your data using a survey and your method must meet the ethical criteria set by the IRB (me).
What you will turn in
You will turn in a scientific paper describing your study. The paper should include the following:
Title Scientific titles are descriptive and may be long. It doesn’t need to be clever or catchy (but it can be). It must describe what you’ve studied.
Abstract The abstract is a brief overview of the entire paper. Although it is at the beginning of your paper, you should write it last. It should include 1-2 sentences on each of the following: 1) summary of background research (from the introduction), 2) statement of the topic of your study (from Introduction), 3) statement of hypothesis (from Introduction), 4) summary of results, and 5) comment from discussion. It is usually 150 words or less.
Introduction The introduction contains 1) detailed background information on your topic, 2) a statement of your topic with a compelling argument for why this topic is interesting or relevant, 3) a statement of your hypothesis, and 4)the predictions for the results along with a rationale of how the predictions flow from the hypothesis. Background research should be cited with complete bibliographical information in a reference list at the end of the paper.
Method This section details exactly how the researcher conducted the study and who served as participants. All the information necessary to repeat the study generally appears in this section. The Method section includes information about apparatus or instrumentation that was used for both the independent and dependent variables. The complete procedure used to administer the independent variable, control confounding variables, and measure the dependent variable is described in this section. This is also where you will explain how you fulfilled ethical obligations, such as informed consent, confidentiality, and debriefing. A copy of your standardized procedures should be included either in the text of the methods section or as an appendix referenced in the methods section. If you use a survey (or part of a survey) from another source, you must include an internal citation and list the source in the reference section.
Results Researchers report what they’ve found in this section. This includes data tables, graphs, and statistical information in addition to a written summary of the results. Tables and graphs should be labeled (“Table 1”) and include a caption.
Discussion The discussion section contains three main things: 1) a conclusion statement (was the hypothesis supported?), 2) a critique of the study, and 3) suggestions for further research or relevance. The bulk of the discussion focuses on #2 (critique). In your critique, you should analyze the strength of your conclusion by identifying possible sources of error or bias in your experiment and explain how these may have affected your data. You may also include alternate explanations for how to interpret your results.
References Parenthetical citations (author, date) must be used to cite sources internally. Sources are listed alphabetically by last name of the first author with second line of each citation indented. You may use a bibliography tool such as http://www.carmun.com/easy-bibliography-formatting-APA-MLA.php to help you (select “APA format”).
Logistics – 12 point font, 1 inch margins, avoid passive voice, each section is separated and headed (i.e., “Introduction”), parenthetical notation, tables and graphs are labeled and captioned. Sample size should be at least 25 and you must submit all consent forms with your paper to receive credit.
2015_2016 Rubric for alternative critical thinking assignment.pdf Assignment Requirements
All participants must be at least 18 or older- No exceptions.
You must have a minimum of 25 participants take your survey- No exceptions.
If you have chosen to give out a paper form of your survey to participants, every participantmust sign a consent form prior to taking the survey. Consent forms in both English and Spanish are provided within this folder.
Typically, consent forms are not to be submitted with your paper. Contact your instructor for more information on when and how to submit these consent forms.
If you have chosen to use one of the websites provided to distribute our survey electronically, no consent form is required.
Creating Your Survey
Under no circumstances should you have to pay for anything related to this assignment. The websites provided are free to use; while they may ask you to “upgrade,” you can still use their service to analyze the data, produce graphs, etc. at no charge. Please contact your instructor if you are having difficulty using these websites.
Parameters of Your Paper
There is no set amount for how many pages your paper should be. However, keep in mind that the sample paper is 11 pages long and that is an example of a paper that was considered satisfactory.
Similarly, there is not set amount for how many sources you should use in your paper. However, the fewer resources you have the less research you did. And the less research you did, the worse your grade is likely to be. Please keep this in mind when preparing for this assignment.
The crux of your paper is centered around your hypotheses: what do you think the results will be of your survey? While there is not a set number of hypotheses required for this assignment, most students with satisfactory papers provide at least 2 hypotheses.
Graphs are a requirement for this assignment, and should be found in the Results section of your paper. While there are no set number of graphs required, for every hypothesis introduced in your Introduction section, there should be at least one graph discussing it in your Results section.
Lanier Technical College