Research Proposal Guidelines
The topic of this research proposal is to determine the relationship between different personality types and addiction to drugs
The research question would be which personality types are more prone to addiction, which are not, and why? for example anti-social disorder, aggression, borderline, narcissistic, paranoid personlaity, introvert, extrovert, receptive, exploitive, hoarding, marketing, necrophilous, and working personalities.
The hypothesis is that the more outgoing as well as the depressed types from above would be more prone to addiction as compared to the more recluse personalities and happier personalities.
This is just a general basis for the hypothesis which you can build on to make more precise and professional. It is up to you whether it is experimental or correlational and which type of design would be best to use.
About your assignment:
You are going to be writing a paper that proposes an area that has not yet been studied. This is not as hard as it sounds! Psychology is a very young science, and there is yet research to be done in all areas. Almost every study suggests possible extensions at the end.
You’re not going to be collecting actual data for this class, so you won’t be responsible for complicated data analyses. If you want to use brain imaging or a diary study, go for it!
Sections you will be writing are:
Optional: Appendices and/or tables and figures
You will not be writing a results section because you will not have any results to analyze.
YOUR GRADE WILL BE BASED HEAVILY ON APA STYLE. USE IT.
Numbered 1, with appropriate header
Running head is left aligned
e.g., Running head: JEALOUSY AND SMILES
Paper title is centered and only the first letter of first word is capped
e.g., The effect of smiling on jealous reactions
Author name and affiliation are centered
Provides the reader with a brief summary of the study
Begin with one or two sentences explaining the topic, the research question or the significance of the study.
Briefly introduce the participants (how many, from what population)
Present the hypotheses tested
Describe what methods were used and give an overview of the procedure
Were the results significant and supportive? (No stats in your proposals)
What conclusions can be reached from these findings, and what are their implications?
And all of that in just 120 words or less.
Be clear and concise
Choose each word carefully
Write the abstract last, after the rest of the paper
The word Abstract is centered above the text
Do not indent the first line
Always on its own page
Introduction and References
The introduction will be the first part of the paper you write and will form the back bone of your study
You will need at least 5 references
o I am emailing the 5 articles that should be referenced for this research proposal
The introduction section comprises a large portion of your proposal and should be well written and logical.
Use the past tense when talking about previous research.
Use the future tense when talking about your study… you are telling someone what you PLAN to do.
What is the purpose of the introduction?
To get the reader on the same page as yourself, regarding your study.
Give all information to understand:
o What the purpose of your study is
o What you will do
o Why you will do it
o What questions you ask (hypotheses)
o Why they should care in the first place
When telling a story, it helps to have the background information. That is why you discuss previous research in your area.
What you need:
Previous research – These studies provide support for:
o Why you are studying this topic
o How you formed your hypotheses
o What you expect to find
o Use previous research to suggest that your results will provide support for those findings or take the area in a new, exciting direction.
o Tell your reader what you expect your study to accomplish
o Should be clearly stated
o Should flow logically from review of previous literature (the 5 articles)
Structure of an Introduction
· You may want to begin with an overview statement or an attention grabber
o Observation of human behavior
o Presentation of pressing social problem or current event
o Relevant quotation or saying
Present the purpose of your study
· The problem or question being researched
o Can also define difficult terms here
o Discuss why this is important
· Presentation of previous research
o DO NOT give me 5 paragraphs of summaries – integrate each article in some logical way
o You may take out the headings from your lit review (Study 1) and use transitions to make the paper flow together.
o Show that you have read the article and discuss the methods briefly
o May also discuss limitations of previous research and how your study will fix these
· Define your variables conceptually
o Independent variables (or predictors)
o Dependent variables (or criterion)
· Present hypotheses and expected results
o Generally we can assume that you expect hypotheses to be supported, but need to discuss WHY
o Try to integrate hypotheses into the paragraph rather than listing them
o Make sure to describe comparison group
o People in hot rooms will display more aggression than people in cool rooms.
Begin Intro with the title, not “Introduction”
Do not discuss your methodology (unless it is directly relevant to previous research)
Do not make a shopping list of past research
Double space, use appropriate paragraphs and indent each paragraph 5 spaces
Proof-read for spelling, grammar and APA style
Purpose: To describe in detail how the study was conducted; how the data was collected. You have complete freedom and research to determine which would be the best population to use as well as the tools to use in the proposal to make it the most logical and effective for this assignment. Use your knowledge and expertise for every section.
How will you recruit them (random, convenience, from psych classes, from phone book, etc.)?
From what population (college students, teens, insurance companies, etc.)?
Specific characteristics (age, ethnicity, gender, grade level, relationship status, etc.)?
Will they be compensated? How?
Why are you choosing this sample???
Describes measures (questionnaires) used, including a reference, # of items, what variables they measure (using operational definitions), what scale is used, etc.
Include examples of questions.
Describes other materials used (e.g. specific computer programs, cards with lines of different lengths, video taped conversations, etc.)
Restate IV/DV or predictor/criterion
Correlational or experimental? If experimental, this section will be more detailed.
Within-subjects (repeated measures), between-subjects (independent groups), or mixed? n X n factorial design?
Why are you using this design?? (Do you have a choice?)
Step-by-step what was done
Should allow another to evaluate your methods and replicate them
Should be written as clearly as possible, including how participants were recruited, how informed consent was given, how participants were assigned to groups (experimental studies only), how questionnaires were distributed, what debriefing was done.
Explain your rationale for everything in the procedure. Whenever you say something, say why you’re doing it that way.
This is also where you need to discuss any deception and how you manipulated your variables
Look at sample papers in your lab manual and in journals for examples
Informed Consent and Debriefing
You must include in your procedure that you will give informed consent and that participants will be debriefed.
If you would like, you may actually create an informed consent and debriefing form; make them exactly as they would appear to participants
Sample Informed Consent at http://www.research.uh.edu/ocg/Preaward/CPHS/CPHS2.html
Debriefing is just a summary of what you were studying. Makes note of any deception. Also thanks the participant and gives your contact info and possibly contact info for counseling or other services participants may need.
The word Method is centered above the text. Not bold, underlined or italics
Method section does not start on a new page unless normal pagination requires it.
Subheadings are left aligned and in italics, not bold or underlined
To interpret the (expected) findings of the study – what they actually mean
To discuss the (expected) implications of the study – what influence this study will have for psychology, science, and society
To provide a framework for future study
Only discuss the results that would support your hypothesis. You do not need to discuss what would happen if your hypothesis was not supported.
Main Points To Cover
Restate the hypotheses from the introduction
Will they be supported or not? (say yes)
Are these findings consistent with they findings from previous research discussed in your introduction?
How can the findings from this study be applied practically? (Not all studies do this)
What factors may affect the results in an unexpected way? What alternative explanations are possible for your findings?
No study is perfect, what may be a problem for your study? Think about the shortcomings of the design that you chose.
In what direction should researchers take this topic next? What questions may your study be unable to answer? What variables could be studied next time?
The word Discussion is centered above the text.
The discussion section does not start on a new page unless it would normally go that way.
Begin by stating whether hypotheses will be supported.
Discuss the findings (expected) in the same order in which hypotheses were presented.
Finally, the discussion should attempt to integrate your study with other areas of research... Try to tie your findings back into previous ones.
The word References is centered at the top
References are listed alphabetically
Use hanging indent
Use Last name, First Initial, Middle Initial
Use APA format
References must be the same in-text as on the reference page.
Don’t forget the page header
The maximum page limit is 15 pages (including title page and reference page)
The minimum is 11 pages
Try to be concise and not wordy, but don’t leave out anything you think might be important
Do not use contractions
Do not use first person
You will lose points if your grammatical errors distract me from your ideas! There is nothing to lose by going to the writing center.
Rules of thumb
Explain your rationale for all of your decisions
Don’t just say that you’re using a correlational design because it is appropriate for this study. WHY IS IT APPROPRIATE?
When in doubt, explain!
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