As research is an important part of psychology, every student who completes a graduate level degree in the field is expected to be familiar with core components of research. Not all students will intend to have a career which includes research, and not all students will be ready for thesis/dissertation at this point in time. However, students are still encouraged to identify research in the field that conforms to their professional interests. To that end, students will begin to embark on a mission to answer a professional question of their choosing through a research design. This will be an ongoing project throughout the course of the semester. The two assignments students will submit should be materially related to the topic of their investigation. This will not only make literature reviews easier for completion of this capstone project, it will also help the students develop an appropriately critical eye for important research considerations related to their inquiry.
This research project will take place in five parts:
- Research question identification (For students who choose to complete this project in groups, the research question should allow for multiple testable hypothesis. This will be explained during the course.)
- Ethical considerations associated with the research question
- Literature reviews (for students who choose to complete this project in groups, each student will submit at least ten research articles for inclusion in the overall literature review.)
- Research Methods and design of the study
- Selecting Samples and mock IRB proposals
Each part of this major research project will have an equal weighted value of 10 points. Each part will be submitted separately throughout the course. Each part of the research project will be typed in accordance with guidance in the syllabus. Students may form groups for this project with no more than three students per group. Solo projects are equally welcomed. If students do form groups, the expectations will be higher, as the division of labor should create the ability to investigate each part more thoroughly. All students wishing to participate in a group effort will determine the groups collectively and will not be assigned by the professor. All groups will be identified by the submission of the first group assignment on February 5, 2018. At the end of the course, all students and groups of students will present their work to the rest of the class. This will allow all students to observe the critical thinking and investigative process of all other students in pursuit of future research endeavors.
Part 2 – In this assignment, students will type a 2-3 page paper identifying the ethical considerations of the research questions. This is important because the history of psychology research has in its foundations practices which are now considered unethical. Students should be able to demonstrate an ethical awareness of research and their own professional pursuits.