Module Code :- PSYC3000
Title :- Psychology
Assessment Type :- Assignment
The aim of this assignment is to facilitate you in developing the skills required to design your own experiment in preparation for recruiting and testing participants. Please ensure that you have read the Research Project Overview document to ensure you meet the assessment requirements.
PSYC3000 Psychology Assignment
The Research Proposal that you submit must be an individual piece of work that is based on the group work conducted in your tutorial class and online discussions. Individual students within each group may differ in their depth of understanding and justification of the research and their ability to concisely convey an outline of the proposed study however all proposals coming from the same group are expected to be describing a similar experiment. You are able to develop variations of the proposal if you feel that your group has not adequately addressed some aspects of the study.
Prior to your Research Proposal due date, your group should have talked in class with your tutor to discuss your experiment design and any confounds that you may wish to consider.
The Research Proposal is an individual assignment and contains three components. Each component is outlined below. Note that you should use the subheadings for Sections A-C as outlined below in bold font.
Section A. Introduction
This section of the Research Proposal is both a literature review and an overview of how your study fits with the related research. It should include ALL of the following subheadings:
A1. Background. This is where you provide the context from which your study emerges. You do this by describing the literature that has led you to propose your study. Outline what has already been done, the theories that have been proposed, the limitations of the previous work, and the issues that still need to be addressed.
It is very important that you show how your study emerges from previous research. You might be replicating and extending a past experiment or you might be investigating some previously overlooked or untested assumptions. No matter the rationale behind your study, you must clearly show that your idea has not been randomly picked, but that it is linked to previous research. You can be creative, but maintain scientific integrity.
A2. Research Question and Project Overview. This should be a broad overview of the question(s) that arise from your literature review, and how your research project will address these questions. Note that this is not the section for specific details about your study, but you will need to talk generally about your project in order for this to make sense to the reader.
A3. Aims and Hypotheses. This is where you outline the specific aim(s) of your study and the hypotheses you have developed based on your literature review. Although you will need to mention some methodological aspects of your study to do this effectively, you should not put specific details about your methods here. For example, you might be using a questionnaire to examine stress related to formal examinations in university students and so you would need to outline this, but you would not discuss specific items on the questionnaire in this section.
Section B. Methods and Techniques
This section is where you outline in detail how you are going to answer your research question and test your hypotheses. You should provide enough detail in a clear and concise manner for someone to be able to evaluate your project without needing to ask for further clarification. You are trying to demonstrate to the reviewers that you know exactly what you are doing and that you have considered any extraneous variables. It should include ALL of the following subheadings:
B1. Participants. Outline who you will be recruiting to participate in your study and how you will recruit them. Will they receive anything for their participation? What are your inclusion/exclusion criteria and so forth.
B2. Tasks/Tests/Questionnaires. What tasks and/or tests and/or questionnaires will you use? Why have you chosen that test and is it reliable (if applicable). If you are using an experimental task, provide information about the stimuli, responses, instructions etc.
B3. Procedure. Outline what participants will be asked to do if they consent to participate in the study. What order will they complete the tasks/tests in? How will you allocate them to groups (if it is a between-subjects design)?
B4. Data Analysis. What will you do with the data you get from your participants? Don’t simply list the statistical techniques you will use. Instead, outline the purpose of the test and include the dependent and independent variables. For example, rather than say that a t-test will be used, you would say something like, an independent samples t-test will be used to test the hypothesis that males have a faster reaction time than females on spatial ability tasks. Outline the results you expect to find if your hypotheses are supported. For example, describe the main effects and/or interactions that will be significant. You could include a figure showing the expected pattern of results if applicable to your research design (NOTE that figures are INCLUDED in the page count). If more than one form of analysis could be applied to your research design, you should justify why you have chosen a particular analysis technique.
Section C. Ethical Considerations
Provide an overview of the ethical considerations that you had to consider when designing your study. Use the example Ethics Application form to guide you. For example, would your proposal be a L1 or L2 application? What steps would you take to ensure minimum risk to participants and that they were giving their Informed Consent?
TIP: Reveal the hidden blue text in the word documents as it gives more details about each section.
Research Design Requirements and Limitations
You must design a project that is feasible in terms of your current experimental design knowledge and experience and time frame (i.e., needs to run this semester). This means that you should not design a study that requires complex technical knowledge (e.g., lots of changes to the Psy Toolkit programs), is longitudinal, requires hard-to-recruit participants, or is expensive to run.
Your research design must be at maximum a two-way factorial design (within and/or between subjects) OR a multiple regression with four variables. It must be able to be run using Psy Toolkit.
Your proposed experiment must meet the requirements for either an L1 or L2 Ethics application. If it requires a higher level of approval change your design.
Research Proposal Format
Your Research Proposal (Sections A, B, and C combined) MUST NOT exceed 4 double-spaced pages.
This means you will need to BE CONCISE.
For example, rather than saying something like:
Smith and Jones (1977) conducted an experiment using University students. They were interested in student attitudes towards their research supervisors. Their analysis showed that students did not like their supervisors very much.
You could say:
University students have been found to rate their research supervisors negatively (Smith & Jones, 1977).
This page limit DOES NOT INCLUDE the title page or references. It DOES INCLUDE any figures or
tables that you use.
Format your Research Proposal using:
- double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font
- page margins may be no smaller than 2.0cm all around
- do not leave a blank line between paragraphs (indent the first line of each new paragraph instead)
- Insert page numbers at the top right of the document, starting with the first page of text (i.e., NOT the title page)
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