Week 1 AssignmentTopic Selection. This week you will select a topic you want to study and the area of psychological research that will be used to study this topic, for the Final Paper. For example, you may identify alcoholism as the topic and biopsychology as the research area. You should also indicate why this topic is of interest to you. You will ultimately review a research study in this area for your Final Paper so it is important to choose an area of interest.The following list provides acceptable topic areas that should be applicable to research across these disciplines, but you may also propose another topic that interests you.1. Drug Addiction2. Schizophrenia3. Learning4. Memory5. Intelligence6. Attraction7. DepressionYou will then choose one of the following research areas to study your topic:1. Biopsychology2. Cognitive Psychology3. Developmental Psychology4. Social Psychology5. Clinical PsychologySubmit your research topic and explain why you have decided to focus on this particular topic for your Final Paper. The paper should introduce the importance of the topic and your thesis should be clearly stated. Be sure to include a conclusion as well.The paper should be one to two pages in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. You should cite at least one scholarly, peer-reviewed source that was published within the last five years that supports the importance of your topic selection. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar in your online course.Week 2 AssignmentEstablishing Reliability and Validity. You are a psychologist working for a consulting firm that specializes in survey development. Your firm has been contacted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) to develop a survey that will identify teenagers who are at-risk for driving while intoxicated. M.A.D.D. has provided a list of questions that its research suggests will help to identify risk factors contributing to this behavior. M.A.D.D. needs your firm to work with its members to establish reliability and validity of this survey so that they can begin using it to establish risk in young adults across the nation. In a two to three page paper (excluding title and reference pages), discuss the steps that you would take to establish reliability and validity of this survey. Be sure to describe the type(s) of reliability and validity that you are attempting to establish as part of your consulting project.Your paper should include an introduction to these concepts, a clearly stated thesis for the development project, and a conclusion.You must use two to three scholarly, peer-reviewed sources published within the last five years, from the Ashford University Library to support your discussion in this assignment. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar in your online course.Week 3 assignmentResearch Study and Method. This week, you will submit a one to two page paper (excluding title and reference pages) that discusses the research study you will critique for your Final Paper. The research study you choose to critique must:1. Be an actual research study, not a review.2. Contain a literature review of research related to the topic.3. Have a clearly stated research question (or questions) and a hypothesis.4. Collect data for analysis.5. Conduct some type of analysis on the data collected.6. Interpret the results of the analysis.7. Discuss the implications of the results of the study.It is important that you complete all of the components of the assignment this week so that your instructor can provide you with feedback, which you will use to complete the Final Paper.Your paper should contain the following:1. An introduction that includes the hypothesis, methods, and results of this study.2. A summary of the study.3. An explanation of how this study is consistent with the topic and discipline submitted in Week One.4. A conclusion.5. All references must be cited according to APA guidelines as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.6. Two scholarly, peer-reviewed sources published within the last five years, not including the course text. One of these sources will be the research study that you are discussing.Week 5 Final paperThe Final Paper for this course is a Research Study Critique. For this assignment, utilize the topic and the research methodology approved by the instructor in Week One of the course and the selected peer-reviewed published research study on your topic from Week Three. You will then go through each section of the research study and critique not only the research but also how the research is presented. In many cases, the research is done well, but it is written or presented in a way that is misleading or confusing. Consequently, it is important to evaluate both the research and its presentation. This will allow you to apply the concepts learned in the class to the interpretation of actual scientific research.The research study that you chose to critique must:1. Be an actual research study, not a review.2. Contain a literature review of research related to the topic.3. Have a clearly stated research question (or questions) and a hypothesis.4. Collect data for analysis.5. Conduct some type of analysis on the data collected.6. Interpret the results of the analysis.7. Discuss the implications of the results of the study.Your Final Paper should be eight to ten pages in length, excluding title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style with citations from a minimum of six to eight scholarly, peer-reviewed sources that were published within the last five years. Please refer to the Ashford University Library and Writing Center for more information on APA and scholarly sources.Follow the instructions described below to organize and write your paper. The Final Paper must contain all of the components found in an actual published research study. In each section the content of the paper will be summarized and then critiqued using the knowledge that you have obtained in this course.Writing the Final PaperThe Research Study Critique must contain the following sections:I.IntroductionThe introduction section will provide a general introduction to the topic, and will explain why this topic and discipline were chosen. The research study being critiqued will also be introduced in this section.II. Literature ReviewIn this section, the literature that the author of the study introduced will be discussed. The critique of this section will be focused on the relevance of the studies reviewed and any biases that are evident in the review. Most research contains various perspectives of the subject. The critique should indicate if some research was excluded from the review, and it should discuss whether or not the exclusion impacts the interpretation of the review.III. MethodsIn this section, the research method and statistical approaches for the study will be presented. This section should discuss all information that is relevant to the experimental design and should include the following: the approach (qualitative or quantitative), the design experimental, quasi-experimental etc., sampling method, sample size, variables (independent and dependent), measures of the variables, statistical tests, and any assumptions noted on the part of the researcher. In this section, you should provide a critique of all of these factors and suggest alternatives when appropriate.IV. ResultsIn this section, the results of the analysis performed in this study should be presented and critiqued. It is also appropriate to discuss limitations or critique the interpretation of the results provided in each study.V. DiscussionIn this section, overall efficacy of this study will be evaluated. The strengths and weaknesses of this study should be evaluated and other directions that the researcher could have gone in should be discussed. Finally, the interpretation and future directions proposed by the author of the study should be summarized and critiqued as well.Week 1 DQ1Research EthicsThis discussion has two options. Please choose either Option A or Option B to respond to. Be sure you indicate within your post which option you chose.For both options, review the American Psychological Association Ethical Principals of Psychologists and Code of Conduct before responding:Option A:The ethics of animal research continues to be one of the most debated topics in psychological research. Watch theAnimal Testing by Big Tobacco – The Mouse House video and review theCommittee for Animal Research and Ethics (C.A.R.E.) guidelines developed by the APA. Then answer the following questions:If these guidelines are adhered to should animal research be allowed? Be sure to use the guidelines to defend your position on the topic. If allowed, should animal research be limited to research that investigates cures for terminal illnesses, or should they continue to be used in any Institutional Review Board (I.R.B.) approved research? How is using animals for research any different than using animals for food?Option B: Human research is common in the field of psychology, which raises many ethical questions. For this discussion, review theStanford Prison Experiment slideshow. Respond to the following:If a question must be answered that has significant negative psychological impact on the subject, such as in the Stanford prison study, is it more ethical to use human or animal subjects? Are there some research questions that should simply not be evaluated because of the potential for negative psychological impact the research would have on the human subjects?Week 1 DQ2Much of scientific inquiry is focused on developing and evaluating theories. There are four major criteria that are used to evaluate theories that are presented in your text:Explains the past; predicts the future Testable and falsifiable Parsimonious Promotes researchWhen evaluating a theory, which of these criteria do you think is the most important, the least important, and why? Do all of these criteria need to be satisfied for the theory to be considered a valid or good theory?Week 2 DQ1Research DesignYou have been approached by a pharmaceutical company that has developed a new drug, which is supposed to be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia. Before mass producing the drug, the company wants to be sure that the new drug is more effective than the one they are currently producing. The company has hired you to design a research study to determine the effectiveness of the new drug in comparison to the old one.Discuss what research design you would use for this study and why. Be sure to include a brief overview of the study and how you would determine the effectiveness of one drug over the other.Week 2 DQ2Hypothesis TestingUse the study you designed in the previous Discussion (Research Design) to complete this discussion question. Based on the study you designed, define the 5 steps of hypothesis testing as follows:Step 1: State the hypothesis.Step 2: Collect the data – For the purpose of this discussion, you will state how you would collect the data.Step 3: Calculate statistics – For the purpose of this discussion, you will indicate the statistics you would use.Step 4: Compare to a critical value – For the purpose of this discussion, you will indicate where you would set the alpha value and why. Note: Step 4 is hypothetical as you are not actually conducting a statistical analysis. Consequently, you will choose if the results of your hypothetical analysis are above or below the critical value.Step 5: Make a decision – For the purpose of this discussion, you will make a conclusion based on the hypothetical results from Step 4. Be sure to include a recommendation on the effectiveness of the new drug based on the results.Week 3 DQ1Descriptive ResearchBriefly discuss the three descriptive designs (i.e., case studies, archival research, and observational research) presented in the reading this week. Be sure to discuss the strengths and weaknesses associated with each approach. Which of these three approaches do you think is the best descriptive design and why? Finally, indicate the types of research testing where each of these designs would be effective.Week 3 DQ2Data DescriptionThis discussion question has two parts. Be sure to address both parts in your post.Chapter 3 introduces different methods that can be used to describe data. Discuss why describing data is such an important part of the research process. Why are there different methods that can be used to describe data? Do the methods used depend on the type of research design that is utilized, or it is a function of the data that is collected? Explain your reasoning. Visit the Ashford University Library and select a quantitative research study. Identify and describe the method(s) used to describe the data in this study. Was/were the appropriate method(s) identified, in your opinion? Could other methods have been used to describe the data in this study? Be sure to properly cite the study you chose within your post.Week 4 DQ1Survey ResearchChoose a research area that you would like to learn more about. Briefly design a study, using one of the survey approaches introduced in the reading this week. The research design should include the type of sampling you will use and why you have chosen this approach to study the topic. Regardless of the method you choose, include two sample questions that will be part of your study. Indicate why each of these would be good questions, based on the principles presented this week. What are the ethical concerns associated with your question or approach? Finally, suggest ways to improve the response rate or participation levels in your study.Week 4 DQ2Data AnalysisAssume that you have conducted the research study which you proposed for the first discussion question this week, and that you now have the data. Which of the methods used for analyzing survey data would you use to analyze this data and why? Be sure to explain why the approach that you are proposing for the data analysis is consistent with the survey research method that you employed and the data you obtained.Week 5 DQ1Experimental versus Quasi-ExperimentalDiscuss the major differences between experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Be sure to address the relationship of variable manipulation to each of these designs and the different types of manipulations that may be used. What dictates the design (i.e., experimental versus quasi-experimental) and the type of manipulation used in a research study?Week 5 DQ2Internal and External ValidityWhen conducting experimental research, interpretation of an experiment’s results can be greatly influenced by its internal and external validity. Discuss the importance of external and internal validity and some of the threats to each of these. What is the impact of having one type of validity but not the other? If you could only have one type of validity in your experiment, which would it be and why?
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