Students are asked to produce a research proposal (1500 words max). This should demonstrate skills formulating scientific questions, selecting an appropriate research design, and choosing appropriate methods of data collection and analysis.
This assignment is not graded, instead students will receive detailed feedback so that they may refine their work before submitting it for final grading (see Summative Assessment 1, Element 011).
Choose a research topic / area in psychology for your proposal. Think of this as a proposal that you might send to a prospective supervisor. Use the headings and structure listed below to structure your proposal.
YOU WILL NOT BE CARRYING OUT THE RESEARCH – this assignment is only about showing that you understand how to devise and design a well thought out research project. General points – Make sure you:
• Write the report in appropriate academic style – used objective, formal language (impersonal, passive voice – e.g not “In this study I will”, instead “The proposed study will”)
• Convey the information and ideas concisely and clearly (Use clear, simple language as much as possible – anyone, even a non-psychologist should be able to understand and follow what you are proposing to do, why and how you propose to do it).
• Make sure that you have presented the work in a neat and coherent way
• Check spelling and grammar / proofread your work before submitting Introduction and Aims: This introduces the experiment or study, describes previous similar or related experiments/studies, builds up to the purpose of the experiment/study, and states the aims and hypotheses.
This is a summary of the background of your proposal – what is known so far, what questions or issues need to be explored further, and what your study aims to do, so try to be clear and precise when you write this. Your introduction should:
• Introduce and outline the subject area under investigation / Theoretical backdrop
• Refer to relevant studies from the literature citing authors by name(s) and year according to the APA style
• Highlight the areas where there are gaps in the literature / more research is needed, and how this relates to your proposed study
• Clearly state the overall aims and objectives of your proposed Research (maximum of 6)
• State the purpose of the experiment/study and the experimental or research hypothesis
• Remember to present all this using a logical structure/ progression of arguments resulting in / leading to your proposed experiment / project Method: This section should explain your methodology.
It should present enough details so that the experiment could be replicated or carried out by another researcher. This should be an overview of the study design and how it will be conducted. Ensure that you use the sub-headings below: Participants:
• Give details of who will be your participants (number, gender, age etc)
• Describe how you will recruit or sample your participants (e.g. students from a university class, new mothers from a neonatal class, recruit a mixed sample through social media, etc) Materials/Apparatus:
• give details of the stimuli you will use, if any (e.g. slideshow of faces, a personality questionnaire, a behavioural task)
• give details of how the stimuli will be presented
• give details of what equipment you will use Design:
• state the research design you will use (e.g. experimental, correlational, longitudinal; observational, interview)
• define the independent/dependent variables, variables to be correlated, etc
• note any control groups, if they will be present in your design Procedure:
• summarise the instructions you will give to the participants
• give details of what you will do to collect data on the day(s) of testing
• describe how the responses will be recorded and scored
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