Research Design


For this week’s task, you first will reflect upon the area of psychology for which you plan to focus your graduate studies with an eye toward what you envision your capstone will cover. For example, if you plan to specialize in Gender Diversity, you will want to focus on a topic area from that realm of research such as mental health, gender and healthy sexuality. Consider topics related to social, cultural and biological foundations that influence gender diversity.

If you plan to specialize in Health Psychology, focus on a topic areas that relate to this specialization. Consider topics such as factors that influence health and illness (for example: stress or nutrition), complementary and alternative medical approaches to treating illness, or issues such as eating disorders and medical compliance.

If you plan to specialize in Industrial Organizational Psychology, focus on topic areas that relate to this specialization. Consider topics such as organizational and human resource management issues. This may include critical issues in today’s business and industry fields, team processes, dynamics of leadership and management, or the structure and procedures of organizational development.

If you plan to specialize in General Psychology, focus on topic areas that relate to this specialization. General Psychology incorporates a broad base of topics, but consider topics related to personal, social or global issues. This topic area can also include the biological and social bases for behavior, human development, or even topics related to the other specializations discussed above.

If you plan to specialize in Forensic Psychology, focus on topic areas that relate to this specialization. Forensic Psychology is the application of scientific, technical, or specialized psychological knowledge to the justice system that includes both criminal and civil matters. Because the application is more about the services provided versus the sub-areas of psychology, consider topics related to the correctional environment, offender and victim characteristics, theories of aggression, psychological evaluation and treatment of offenders. Topic areas can include police psychology, testimony, jury selection, criminal profiling, psychopathy, delinquency, risk assessments and mental status examinations of defendants to name a few. You can review your course catalog for more topic ideas.

These are just some broad examples of topic areas that relate to each degree specialization. Once you have identified your specialization interest, your task will be to determine three possible research topics that could be examined in your master’s capstone. Not only will these topics serve as the basis for this course’s assignments, but by looking ahead, you also will be able to identify and store research from future classes related to your eventual capstone.

Prepare a brief statement describing each of your topics. Next, you will identify a peer-reviewed research article for each of your three possible topics.

Using the skills you practiced in Warm-up Activity 1.1, you will locate 3 peer-reviewed journal articles that discuss original research studies. Choose 3 total articles – 1 to address each of the three possible topics you have selected. You will need to locate a total of three articles at this point, one for each possible research topic.

Once you have located your three articles, you will then identify the researcher(s)’ hypothesis. Remember that the hypothesis may not be clearly stated – you may have to infer from the information provided in the Introduction what the authors predicted their study results would show.

Your final task will be to propose your own research question and hypothesis for each of your selected research topics.

Submit the work you have completed for this assignment in one document that includes the following:

A brief description of your three potential research topics
A list of hypotheses identified from 3 peer-reviewed research articles. Be sure to submit a link to or a copy of each article to your instructor, along with your paper.
3 potential research questions and related hypotheses. Include 1 research question and 1 corresponding hypothesis for each topic area.
Length: 2-3 pages

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