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Message – Option 1: Researcher Proposal As studied in Research Methods I and II, you may opt to assume the role of a research psychologist. In the researcher role, you will propose a research study to address an area of interest to you in psychology. You are not provided with a predetermined list of topics. In Senior Seminar, you are ready to select your own topic to explore. Select a topic that needs further study for increased understanding, presents research that could solve a problem, or follows up on published results addressing questions raised in a peer-reviewed journal article. It is common for researchers to include recommendations for further research at the end of their research articles. Looking at published research in your areas of interest will likely give you good ideas for your topic and research question.
Completed in Module 3. The purpose of the problem statement is to introduce the reader to your research topic. It should be a relatively brief section. In about a page or less, provide the reader with a general introduction to the topic. Later, in the Literature Review section, you will provide additional details. Briefly address: 1) why is the research important? 2) What psychological theory or theories are used to study this topic? 3) What are the practical implications of conducting this research?
Research Question and Hypothesis
Completed in Module 3. The research question is the guiding question—it articulates the overall purpose of the proposal. This section should articulate a clear research question and provide a rationale for that question. There are two necessary components of an effective research question. First, it is stated in the form of a question. It does not make a declarative prediction, which is the hypothesis discussed next. Second, unlike the hypothesis, which can be cumbersome and full of jargon, the research question should be clear and easily understood
Next, a well-developed research hypothesis usually includes the following elements, although there are variations specific to a given research topic and method (e.g., hypotheses are usually articulated in quantitative studies; qualitative studies often do not have a specific testable hypothesis). If you are proposing a qualitative study, reach out to your instructor for guidance on completing this section.
First, the quantitative hypothesis is a declarative statement of prediction; it is stated in the form of a sentence. Second, it articulates a relationship between two variables, usually referred to as the “independent variable” and “dependent variable” in true experiments or “predictor variable” and “criterion variable” in correlational studies. Third, it is testable, usually by specifying the instrument used to measure that relationship. Fourth, it is specific to a population.
An example from Salkind (2012, p. 45) illustrates these required elements:
“There will be a difference in preference level as measured by the I<3Food scale between those consumers who are offered organic food and those who are offered non-organic food.”
Make sure to clearly articulate your hypothesis, the independent (predictor) variable and dependent (criterion) variable, and the population of interest. Keep in mind that this is a tentative hypothesis that may need to be revised after working on your Literature Review and Method sections per feedback from your instructor.
This assignment is only the problem statements and hypothesis you have to do, 2 pages
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