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For this paper, you will need to develop a research proposal, using an experimental design, to test a hypothesis/theory in social psychology.
1. Formulate a research question / Introduction: (10 points)
Think about several research questions that are directly related to this class, and then choose the one that you want to write for this assignment. Why do you think that this research question is important and worthy of conducting? What is the significance of this research? What kinds of contributions do you think that this research can bring to human knowledge?
2. Literature review (50 points)
Please include at least 8 relevant academic articles in the literature review section, and discuss how these articles answer your research question. What are their research designs? What are the limitations of these articles with respect to your research question? How could you go beyond these studies in order to answer your own research question? (Follow the academic format you see in other academic articles). The literature review should be about 2-4 pages.
You need to do some comparisons among these articles, like what you see in some academic articles, rather than discussing each of them separately.
For the academic format, the references should be consistent with the citations. That is, for everything you cite within the paper, you should include it in the references. If it is not cited within the paper, it should NOT be included in the references. You need to include at least 8 relevant academic studies in your references.
3. Hypotheses and theoretical justification (20 points)
What’s your theoretical justification (logical argument), and what is your hypothesis?
If you want, you can integrate your theoretical argument with the literature review.
You should put your hypothesis after your theoretical justification.
4. Experimental design: (30 points)
The purpose of this proposal is to design an experiment within social psychology. Please review chapter 1 regarding the focus of social psychology: How would individuals’ thoughts, feelings, or behaviors affected by others? Here are some important points to keep in mind when you design a social psychological experiment:
(1). How would the majority, “normal,” people react? Social psychology studies “normal people.” Therefore, please don’t focus on criminals, prisoners, or those going to the clinical services. (These would be a good topic for other classes.)
(2). Psychological social psychology focuses on the “immediate reaction” to the situation you created, such as how would most people react when a little girl gives them a candy? For this assignment, please do not design anything that requires an extended period of time.
(3). You need to use an experiment, NOT surveys.
For this assignment, you are required to use an experimental design (don’t just use a survey as your independent variable). In other words, you need to take an action (or create a situation), manipulating the independent variable, to see the consequences or changes of the dependent variables.
In your paper, describe the process in as much detail as possible. (You might need to review chapter 2). Don’t forget to include the following major points: What’s the independent variable? What’s the dependent variable? Do you need a control group? Do you need a pre-test? Why or why not?
5. Data Collection (20 points)
How would you choose and recruit your participants? How many people do you plan to choose? Are there any potential biases in your sampling process? (Do you think your participants represent the general public? Why or why not?) Will the biased sample have any impact on the results of your research? (For example, conducting your experiment among college students versus among senior church members.) Please discuss the data collection process in detail.
6. Research ethics: (10 points)
Will this research harm anyone? How could you protect your participants? Please discuss all possible research ethic issues we discussed in Lesson 2.
7. Overall APA format: (10 points)
Please take a look at the APA format from the module, and follow the APA format as closely as possible. For this paper, you are NOT required to include an abstract nor a conclusion.
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