Advanced Psychological Science

Advanced Psychological Science (3004) Assignments
There are 2 assignments for this unit:

1. Assignment 1 is a research proposal and is due by 4pm on Friday 18th September (week 7).
This assignmentis designed to give you practice in writing a proposal-style introduction, developing aims and hypotheses, proposing methods, proposing analyses and composing an information sheet and consent form.

2. Assignment 2 is a brief research report and is due by 4pm on Tuesday 27th October (week 13).
This assignmentis designed to give you practice in working with data files, analysing and interpreting data, writing results in APA format and writing a discussion section.

These two assignments are designed to introduce you to mixed methods research. You will have the opportunity to both develop new skills in conducting mixed methods research and consolidate the quantitative research skills you have developed in previous years with the qualitative skills you acquired in 310. Successful completion of these assignments will help equip you for completing the dissertation in fourth year.
General Information
Both assignments 1 and 2 are about mobile phone use and will examine the relationships between demographic variables (age and gender), identification as a mobile phone user, and mobile phone dependency. The overarching research question (and the title of the study) on which both assignments are based is:

How does identifying as a mobile phone user relate to mobile phone dependency?

This is the title of the research study and should be on the title page of your proposal (assignment 1). From this overarching research question, you will addresstwo quantitative hypotheses and one qualitative research question in your proposal and research report. As this is a mixed methods project, it is important to ensure that your hypotheses and research question are complementary.

Following the completion of assignment 1, we will begin analysing the actual data sets. You will analyse and interpret it for assignment 2, which involves producing results and discussion sections. Tutorials will guide you in this process. You will use two forms of data;one quantitative (from the questionnaire) and one qualitative (from interviews). The data has already been collected (so, you do not have to collect your own data) from 250 people who completed a questionnaire and 50 people who were interviewed. The research instruments will be available to download from Blackboard (Mobile Phone Questionnaire.pdf and Interview Schedule.pdf).The data will also be available for downloading from Blackboard.
Assignment 1: Research Proposal
Assignment 1 is due by 4pm on Friday 18th September (week 7). You must submit your assignment via Turnitin. No hard copy is required and your work will be marked online.
All research starts with a research proposal and this is a fundamental part of the application for ethics approval for all research. This assignment requires you to write an APA formatted research proposal for a study entitled ‘How does identifying as a mobile phone user relate to mobile phone dependency?’ The word limit for this assignment is 2200 words. You will be penalised if you exceed this limit.

The sections to be included in your proposal are as follows:

1. Title page
Includes title of proposed study, full name, student ID a running head and a word count

2. Introduction
Provides an overview of the most relevant literature to your study and ends with your general aims and hypothesis/hypotheses. In the Introduction you ‘sell’ your project. You do this by demonstrating that you are professional (i.e. APA format) and also by the elegance and logic of your arguments. The Introduction must convince the marker that you are familiar with the most relevant research in your area and also that you are absolutely clear what your research question is. You must also clearly state your hypotheses. Without either of these the proposal would be rejected and the study would not be allowed to proceed. The key to a successful Introduction is being selective in the studies you present – the reader should not be overwhelmed. You should include only those studies most relevant to your research question. You should also avoid debate in the Introduction. Use ‘PsycInfo’ to search for relevant literature (journal articles primarily). You will probably need at least tworeferences for this proposal. At the end of your Introduction you should make a clear statement of your two quantitative hypotheses and your one qualitative research question. Tutorial 1 will focus on your proposed hypotheses.

3. Proposed Method
The Methods section must state what exactly you are going to do and how will you do it. Each measure (the questionnaire and the interview) used in your study must be spelt out. Again, there must be some judgement as to what to include. This section must include the following sections in this order:

Research Design:Describe the design you have chosen and justify that choice. Is it correlational or experimental?Is it nested? Is it sequential? You do not talk about the proposed analyses in this section.

Participants:Imagine that you are recruiting participants for your study. Describe your intended participants and explain how you plan to recruit them. If you have an age limit (for example, participants aged 18 – 35) you must state this. You will write as though you are recruiting about 250 participants for this study via the Bulletin Board. State that all the participants will be 1st year Psychology students and will be aged over 18. State that both males and females will be recruited.
Measures: Again, write as if you have not collected the data yet and intend to do so. Describe the materials (questionnaire and interview) you plan to use. The questionnaire you are to describe is available in the ‘Assignment 1’ folder on Blackboard. The interview questions you are going to talk about are available in the ‘Assignment 1’ folder on Blackboard. Include the questionnaires/interview schedule as appendices.
Procedure:Indicate how you will conduct the research. This section requires a step by step description of what a participant will do when they join the study. (Once again, write as though you are collecting the data yourself).

Tutorials 1 to 4 will focus on proposed measures and the general method.

4. Proposed Data Analysis
For your quantitative data (questionnaire) you should include information about which statistical tests will be used. Spell out which statistical tests you will use and how each one will address your hypotheses separately. You should also state how you will test the assumptions of the analyses. You do not need to tell the reader what you will do if you do not get the results you want.For your qualitative analysis, you need to state that you will be analysing interview transcripts from 10 of the interviewed participants. You will also need to state that you will be conducting thematic analysis on your interview transcripts and tell the reader how you will do this.
Tutorial 3 will focus on the proposed analysis.

5. Ethics &Anticipated Difficulties
Describe problems that you think may arise during your study (no more than two), and how you might overcome them. For example, would you anticipate difficulties acquiring participants? (Again, write as though the data have not yet been collected).

6. References

7. Appendices
Appendices must include the following:
1. A copy of the questionnaire
2. A copy of the interview questions
3. A copy of your information sheet (you must compose one for this assignment – this will be the first page of the online questionnaire)
4. A copy of your consent form (you must compose one for this assignment)
Advice and checklists on preparing information sheets are available on Curtin’s website. Look for:research.curtin.edu.au/files/2015/05/PICF-checklist-V1-12JAN2015.docx
Tutorial 2 will focus onproducing an information sheet and consent form.

Applying for an extension:
Please do not leave it until last minute to request an extension. If you are struggling with an issue, make sure you get a doctor’s certificate to support your application. Extensions cannot be granted after the hand-in date. Applications for extensions for this unit should be submitted to the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology Reception (401.220) or emailed to psych-office@exchange.curtin.edu.au. Students will be notified of the outcome of extension requests via the OCC (Official Communications Channel) located within OASIS. You must usethe University Assessment Extension Form, which is available on the Forms page at http://students.curtin.edu.au/administration.

Tutorials Relating to Assignment 1:
Tutorial 1: Your research question and your quantitative hypotheses and qualitative research question
Tutorial 2: Your method and measures (questionnaire and interview questions); Your Information sheet and consent form
Tutorial 3: Your proposed analyses
Tutorial 4: Writing a proposal
Tutorial 5:Assignment 1 drop-in Q&A

This document provides information about Assignment 1. Instructions for Assignment 2 will be made available following submission of your first assignment.

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