Psychology Research Proposal Paper

The final paper assignment is a research proposal.

For this assignment, you must:

  • present a literature review
  • develop hypotheses
  • design a true experiment to test those hypotheses
  • discuss how you would collect and analyze data to test your hypotheses
  • discuss the implications of your expected findings

Requirements:

The proposal should follow APA format, including:

  • running head
  • page headers
  • page numbers
  • No actual data collection is to take place.

    Papers should be typed and with the following format guidelines: 
     

  • 11 or 12 point Arial font
  • double-spaced
  • 1” margins
  • Papers should be no longer than 15 pages of text (not including title page, abstract, references, figure caption, figures)

For Paper Assignment #3 you are asked to do the following:

1.    Title Page

2.    Abstract

3.    Introduction

Paper #2 was designed to help you with the introduction for this research proposal. 

  • Please consider the feedback that you received on Paper #2 and make any necessary changes.
  • Then cut anything that is irrelevant to the proposal. 
  • Finally, at the end of the introduction you should include your hypotheses:
    • including explicit predictions about both main effects and about the interaction of the two independent variables (i.e., whether each main effect/interaction will be significant and the nature of the effect)
    • a discussion of why the variables should interact. 

4.    Method
Your methods section should propose a research design that tests your hypotheses. Your research design must be a true experiment, including:

  1. Two independent variables (i.e., a factorial design).
    • At least one of the independent variables must allow random assignment of subjects to conditions (you are allowed to include one Individual Difference Measure (subject variable) in your design, e.g. gender, ethnicity, or perhaps (for example) a group with depression versus a control group without depression).
  2. Proposals with a single independent variable will receive a maximum of 75 points. 
  3. Describe your study in enough detail that someone else could replicate the experiment you have designed. 

5.   Results and Data Analyses 
The Results and Data Analyses section should show what the results would be if the experimental hypotheses were supported. 

  1. Briefly describe what analyses would need to be performed and your design
  2. Go through and explain if you expect significant main effects and an interaction
  3. Describe the direction of these effects. 
  4. Present a figure showing the predicted results.  The results should be in the future tense.  In other words, “I would expect to find…” or “It is predicted that…”

6.    Discussion
The Discussion section should briefly describe the implications of the expected results.

Reminder: You didn’t do this study, so you need to write about it in the future tense, e.g., “The expected finding of a main effect for X would support the idea that…” 

It should also include a section where you describe a set of alternative results. 

  • What might your data look like if you do not find what you expected? 
  • What would you conclude if you found the data you expected? Your discussion section should also discuss any potential limitations of the study you presented (e.g., generalization given the sample, other possible conceptualizations of the independent and dependent variables).

    You may also want to note other directions that the research may go given the questions you raised.  In other words, if you did your study and found what you predicted, what would be the next logical experiment to run? 

    After you discuss the implications of your findings, the limitations of your study, and other related research questions that may be of interest, you should broaden your discussion to talk about why this is an important research question more generally, pulling out points that you wrote about in Paper #1.

7.     References

8.     Figure Caption(s)

9.     Figure(s)

10.   Copies of Abstracts for all articles you review

I will be grading the papers using the grading sheet provided through this link: Grading Sheet Paper #3.  It may be helpful when you are writing your paper to examine this.

Recall that all previous paper assignments (and the one’s coming up) were related to portions of your research proposal.
You should:

  • review any comments you received on these assignments
  • use these comments to improve your proposal
  • review your lab notes to ensure that you include all necessary components for each section of the paper
  • Appendix A in the Stangor book and the APA Manual are good sources for formatting and content.

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