Research is how a field advances its practices, particularly in applied psychology. This Discussion: Reading & Designing Research Assignment will allow you to explore the practicality of reading research and applying it to your area of interest within psychology. This Discussion: Reading & Designing Research Assignment aims to help you develop skills related to reading empirical research and developing your own hypothesis and research study. It also provides practice in sharing professional research findings and developing networks with colleagues.
If there is a specific end goal or area of interest you want to pursue with this degree, use that as inspiration. Otherwise, you can pick one of the topics provided below or come up with one of your own. (Note: It helps to have at least two key terms when searching for a relevant article – but you may want to refine your focus even more. For instance, you can focus on a specific age group, gender, geographic region, religious group, or occupation.)
• Friendships in the workplace on productivity or job satisfaction
• Comparison of job / relationship / educational satisfaction among groups (e.g., gender, religion, political view, et cet)
• PTSD and life or job satisfaction
• Stress, anxiety, or motivation and academic performance
• Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ADHD, anxiety, et cet) and friendship
• Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ADHD, anxiety, et cet) and education
• Religious views and workplace conflict
- Complete background work by selecting a topic and reading two recent articles.
a. Pick a topic containing at least TWO key terms, like the topics suggested above. Use the Jerry Falwell Library to locate two empirical articles from peer-reviewed journals containing both key terms. You may need to log in to have complete access.
i. Try to only use research published within the last year (but definitely limit to within the last 5 years).
ii. Both articles must be from peer-reviewed sources and must be empirical to complete this assignment (remember from Module 1, an empirical article is an original research study so it will have method and results sections).
iii. Read the articles.
- Compose a professional letter to a potential colleague to make him or her aware of these recent findings.
a. For each article, state the research question, sample size, variables of interest, statistical test used to examine the research question(s), and the conclusions. Make sure to use parenthetical or narrative citations within your letter using APA conventions.
i. Note you cannot quote from the articles you selected – you must put information into your own words for this entire assignment. “Rephrasing” is switching out a few words. This is insufficient at the graduate level and as a professional. You need to be able to read research and present it using your own language, to demonstrate you truly understand how to read a research article.
b. Discuss how the articles work together to strengthen your understanding of the topic you’ve selected personally and/or professionally, OR why you think their results are contradictory.
- Include a reference section at the end in current APA style for all citations (minimum of 2 entries).
Your discussion thread must be at least 400 words.
Make sure to check the Discussion Grading Rubric before beginning this Discussion: Reading & Designing Research Assignment.
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