Pros and Cons of Using the Survey Research Method 1) A research question related to the topics we’ve discussed in class that interests you, 2) a brief summary of the background of the topic you’ve chosen and why your question is interesting/important to address, 3) selection of a research method to address your question and 4) an explanation of why you have chosen that method, including an explanation of any pros and cons to using the method.
A research question is exactly that—some question you have about psychology that can be answered through experimental research. When thinking of a research question, make sure it is something you can actually test.
Are wealthier people happier? Are children more likely to conform than adults? Does caffeine affect test performance?
Your research question does not need to be the most interesting, novel question in the world, but I do expect it to be your own and (somewhat) unique. That is, if I see numerous people in the class asking the exact same research question, I may ask some people to change their question.
Pros and Cons of Using the Survey Research Method Getting started
If you are not sure what topic you’d like to propose research on, you have several resources available to you. You can look through your textbook for general topics you can ask questions about, but Psychology Today online is another good resource for current psychological research.
As you are looking at different topics, consider the following:
- Why are you interested in this topic? What do you want to find out?
- Is there any research already done in this area? (The answer is almost definitely yes… so look for it!)
- What is a feasible way to gather data to test your hypothesis and answer your question?
o You can choose from the following research methods that we’ve discussed in class:
▪ Naturalistic observation
▪ Case study
▪ Correlational study
▪ Experimental research
- Longitudinal design
- Cross-sectional design
Structuring your assignment
You are welcome to structure your paper however you see fit, as long as I can understand your reasoning. If you are not sure how to start, this is a recommended organization:
- Background/previous research on your topic
- Research question
- Hypothesis (what you think the answer to your question will be)
- Research procedures
o Who will your research subjects be? (Does gender matter? Does age matter? Race/ethnicity/culture? Do you want to test people with a particular disorder or characteristic?)
o What research design have you chosen? Why did you choose it?
o How will you implement your research design? (I.e., tell me what the experiment would look like—what will your research subjects experience?)
- What are the limitations to the research method you chose? (I.e. what are the drawbacks?) Will they affect your research question?
- Concluding remarks (i.e. a summary of your research question and hypothesis, broader importance of your question)
Pros and Cons of Using the Survey Research Method Use of sources
You should look at a variety of resources for information on your topic, especially when describing the background of your topic and any prior research done on your question. You should cite any information you incorporate from another source. You should include a minimum of two citations in your paper (your textbook can be one of them). Because this is a psychology class, your citations should be in APA (American Psychological Association) style. Please list your citations at the end of your paper.