Throughout the next six weeks, you will plan and propose a quantitative research design of your choice, which may (or may not) involve an area of interest for your doctoral dissertation. You will select a research topic, generate testable hypotheses, review relevant literature, describe participant selection procedures, identify data collection methods, describe the proposed quantitative research design, address potential ethical problems, and describe limitations of your research proposal.

This assignment is the first step toward completing your Final Research Proposal in Week 6. Every research project begins with a well-defined topic and research problem. Review Chapter 2 in your textbook for ideas regarding how to select a good topic.

After thinking about a topic area you are interested in researching, conduct a preliminary literature search on that topic using scholarly sources through ProQuest, EBSCOhost, or another library search engine (NOTE: Websites and other non-scholarly sources such as Newspapers, Periodicals, etc. are not acceptable for this assignment). From your initial review of the literature on your topic, write a one to two page paper, in addition to the Title and References page, on the following:

  1. Rationale/Problem Statement for the research topic of your choice: Explain your topic. Make a case for why this topic is important to you, the field of psychology, or your specialization area.
  2. Research questions you have developed for your topic: Conclude your discussion of the research topic by identifying specific research question(s) about the relationships between two or more concepts. Use both the textbook and the Pajares (2007) website to formulate specific research questions.
  3. Hypotheses that you want to test: Considering your research question or statement of the problem, formulate a hypothesis that states the relationships between the variables and answers the research question. Remember that hypotheses make statements or predictions about something that may be true. Thus, they are hunches or intuitions about what the study’s results may show about the variables being tested. Some examples of hypotheses include:
    • Parental education will be the best predictor of children’s IQ scores.
    • The amount of physical punishment a parent experienced as a child will be positively correlated with the amount of physical punishment he or she uses on his or her own children.
    • Group X’s scores will differ significantly from Group Y’s scores.
    • Higher caffeine use will result in lower memory retrieval.
    • Hours of computer usage will be related to hours of sleep.
  4. References page: Include a list of at least 5 scholarly sources on the Reference page that support your topic. You do not need to provide a comprehensive summary of the resources for this week, but should be preparing to do so for the Week 2 written assignment.

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