Design an experiment pertaining to any aspect of Psychology that you find interesting
Design an experiment pertaining to any aspect of Psychology that you find interesting
Design an experiment pertaining to any aspect of Psychology that you find interesting. Your design may be EITHER a true, quasi or non-experimental OR correlational design. YOU MUST BE clear about which of these designs you are using and which specific design of the many types of each you are using (i.e. time series, interrupted time series, differential groups etc.). Indicate whether your design is within or between subjects if relevant. If you like you can design a factorial study if you have more than one independent variable, in which case you will have to describe how you expect the variables to interact. Be clear about why the design you have chosen is the best design to answer the research question of interest, or is the only design that makes sense given the variables in question.
Also, for each design, explain and describe:
A) Your research question
B) Your hypothesis
C) Your independent variable(s)
D) Your dependent variable(s)
E) If you have a correlational design of course instead of independent and dependent variables you will have criterion and predictor variables
F) You MUST be clear on how the variables will be operationalized and measured. Be very precise so that someone else could replicate your study. Justify your choice and reference any materials you are using from other sources such as Beck’s depression inventory, Marsee & Frick’s measure of relational aggression etc. If you must design your own questionnaire or scale to tap into a construct for which there is no good existing measure, describe how many ?s there would be, what kind of scale you would use, and what the final scores would consist of. Include some sample questions.
G) Your participants, describing what population they would come from, how many you would use, how you would assign them to groups/treatments (if relevant), defending your approach
H) Your methodology and materials (briefly describe any apparatus, stimuli, reinforcements or tests utilized)
I) What controls would you implement, and what would these controls protect your experiment against
J) How would your results contribute to knowledge in the field of Psychology?
There is no defined word limit but each answer should be described clearly and concisely. The paper should probably be about 5-8 pages in length, double spaced in font size 12 with 1” margins. It is ok to design a modification or replication with extension of existing research but please cite any prior research, giving proper credit to the authors whose work you are replicating or modifying. Your study can not be an exact copy of a study that has already been conducted. You MUST reference your sources within the text of your paper using APA style!!!!!
The introduction for the study should briefly introduce the topic you wish to investigate, why it is important, what gaps still exist in our knowledge, and how your study will attempt to clarify the relationships between existing variables, thus closing these gaps in knowledge. Therefore, you should cite a few peer-reviewed studies on your topics that indicate work that is currently being conducted on the topic. Your introductory paragraphs should clearly indicate what you are interested in testing and why. Thus some background theory should be indicated, and especially, specific hypotheses should be identified. Outlining your hypotheses should lead clearly into a description of the methods for your experiment.
The Methods section for your experimental design will contain Participants, Materials and Procedure subsections. This is the most important part of the paper. Headings and subheadings must follow the APA format according to the new APA guidelines for a single experiment paper. Points will be deducted for improperly formatted papers. See below.
Consider who your participants will be – how are they recruited and assigned to conditions. What are the demographic restrictions? Justify your choice of participants. How many will be assigned to each group etc? How will you operationally define your IVs and Dvs? Obviously this information comprises the Participants subsection.
What materials will your study require, e.g. tests, apparatuses, caging, rewards etc.? Also you will clearly describe the step by step procedure in enough detail that your study could be replicated. If you presented the participants with music – where did you obtain your samples of music from? How were the samples chosen? How long were the segments of music that were played to the participants? On what kind of sound system? What is the testing environment like? These details will appear in your Materials subsection. If you used an existing questionnaire or survey you can cite the source for the survey you used. If you would have needed to create your own you don’t need to develop an entire survey for the purpose of this assignment. You can simply describe how many questions would be on the survey, how it would be scored (e.g. likert scale, yes/no, open-ended etc – what would the total scores be out of and what would the scores indicate about your measure?), how long would it take to complete, and provide some sample questions in the appendix. Indicate what dimensions or aspects of personality or behavior are being measured by the questionnaire and if there is more than one scale.
In the Procedure subsection you will talk about exactly what happens to the participants. Will they be tested in your experiment individually or in groups? Will all groups be tested at the same time of day? How often? How are the instructions given? If they are taking a questionnaire is it mailed out to them or do they take it online or does a researcher read the questions and fill in the answers for them? If participants are being presented with various stimuli, indicate in what order the stimuli are being presented. Is the presentation order counterbalanced, and, if so, what is the counterbalancing schedule? You need to be so specific about every detail that another research can replicate your study exactly, or knows exactly why their results may differ from yours if they do things differently. Keep in mind how you will control for extraneous variables.
APA Style uses a unique headings system to separate and classify paper sections. There are 5 heading levels in APA. The 6th edition of the APA manual revises and simplifies previous heading guidelines. Regardless of the number of levels, always use the headings in order, beginning with level 1. The format of each level is illustrated below:
1 Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Headings
2 Left-aligned, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
3 Indented, boldface, lowercase heading with a period.
4 Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase heading with a period.
5 Indented, italicized, lowercase heading with a period.
Thus, if the article has four sections, some of which have subsection and some of which don’t, use headings depending on the level of subordination. Section headings receive level one format. Subsections receive level two format. Subsections of subsections receive level three format. For example:
Methods (Level 1)
Participants (Level 2)
Teachers. (Level 3)
Students. (Level 3)
Materials (Level 2)
Err on the side of caution!) Do so by including a reference in parentheses following the idea as follows:
Some theorists have suggested that short term memory does not benefit from organization (Black, & Thermor, 1997; Constantine, Richards, & Brown, 1993).
Alternatively, you might include the author’s name within your sentence. In this case only the data of publication appears in parentheses after the author’s name:
Brown (1990) found that ninety percent of all auto accidents occurred due to driver error.
(Note: I used italics above to emphasis the examples, but you should not use italics when writing your citations)
You will not need to cite information given in class lectures but you must cite information from your text book or any other sources that you use. If you use information from the internet you must cite the url in the reference section. However you should only be citing articles available online that may not yet be in print. You should not be using websites as sole sources of reference. Books and book chapters should not be your primary sources. Plagiarism can result in expulsion or a failing grade!
You need to include only the authors’ last names and date of the publication within the text. If there is more than one paper with the same authors and same publication year you may designate the papers a and b:
e.g. Brown, & Smith, 1995a; b
References within parentheses should be listed in alphabetical, NOT chronological order!
If this is the first reference to the article you must include all of the authors’ names within the first citation unless there are greater than 6 authors in which case, listing the first author “et al” is sufficient. For future references to the work you can include only the first author et al. if there are more than 2 authors, and the date. If there are two authors, both must be mentioned by name each time you cite the paper.
On the actual reference page you must cite the:
Author’s last name, initials. (year of publication). Name of paper. Journal name in italics,
journal number also in italics, pages.
Using the same punctuation and formatting as above. Authors always appear in the order that appears on the article. Reference lists are ordered alphabetically by first author’s last name, second author etc. and then chronologically if there is more than one paper by the same authors.
Marks will be deducted if references are not cited properly!
Please note the library website and the Writing Center include links for sites that will help you with both APA formatting and with proper citations for references.