Papers _ Research

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					Writing about
Lab 1
Today’s Agenda
 Recap of Yesterday

 Groups!

 Defining the sections of a paper

 The Requirements of your Paper

 In Class Assignment: Google’s Research on YouTube

 Break

 Writing Introductions

 In Class Assignment: Making good introductions
Recap of Yesterday…
 Research is hard!

 Constructs are the basis of looking at psychological

 Causality is our primary goal and there are several
  conditions of causality

 Societal values clash with research

 Validity in the face of psychological research

 Middlemist study
Basics of Research
 What is the purpose of research:
So Our Goal
 Find these relationships that exist in psychological

 You will demonstrate that through your final paper
Preliminary Details
 Final Paper is worth 100 points

 No Late Papers Will Be Accepted

 Papers will be graded on writing quality and correct use
  of APA style. Including:
   Proper In-text Citations
   Correctly Formatted Reference Page
   APA Style Requirements for Writing
Due Dates
 Pick your paper topic           Methods
   1 out of the 100 points         33 out of the 100 points
   Tuesday, May 26                 Thursday, June 11th
                                    Optional Draft: Monday,
 Introduction                       June 8, 2009
   33 out of the 100 points          Returned Tuesday
   Tuesday, June 2nd
   Optional Draft: Wednesday,    Discussion
    May 27th                        33 out of the 100 points
     Returned Thursday             Thursday, June 18th
                                    Optional Draft: Monday,
                                     June 15th
                                      Returned Tuesday
Learning Objectives of the Final Paper

 Identify a research question and generate a testable
 Review the relevant literature
 Identify a research design to test the hypothesis
 Identify a sampling scheme
 Identify the major analyses that will be used to test
  the hypothesis
 Interpret the results of the study assuming that the
  analyses did and did not support the hypothesis
Formatting Details

 Technical Details: Double-spaced, 12 point Font, 1
  inch margins.
 Main Text: 10-12 pages text (10 pts off if paper is less
  than 10 pages or greater than 13 pages)
 Main text refers to the body of the paper. It does NOT
  include the References section, Cover page, and any
 Tables and Figures are NOT required.
Step 1: Pick a Topic

 Pick a topic that is interesting to you. ANY TOPIC

 The Topic should be focused on just 2 variables (X
  predicts Y)
Pick a Topic (Continued)

 Your question could concern a cause and effect
  association that could be studied with an experiment:
   Examples: Does playing violent video games cause
    aggression? Does taking a multivitamin increase IQ? Does
    Therapy X work better than Therapy Y for treating ADHD?

 Your question could also concern an association that
  could be studied with a correlational design.
   Examples: Is Low SES related to depression? Is spanking
    related to aggression in children? Is IQ related to crime? Is
    age related to changes in memory?
Remember: One X->Y
 In all of these examples there is one independent
  variable and one dependent variable.

 That is, there is the idea that variation in one variable
  causes variation in the other variable OR the idea that
  variation in one variable is associated (i.e., statistically
  predicts) variation in the other variable.
Step 2: Conduct a Literature Search

 Find articles in PsycINFO

 Point your web browser to
   Then under “Browse E-Resources by Subject” go down to
    “Psychology” and click on GO

 PsycINFO should be an option
Conduct a Literature Search

 Search for keywords from your topic
 If you need help knowing what the key words are, select
  the following:
 PsycINFO including PsycARTICLES (ERL on
   Enter a topic word, such as “body image”
   Then click on “Suggest”
   Related keywords/topics will be suggested to help you
    refine your search
Conduct a Literature Search

 Find articles using Scholar Google
 Point your web browser to
   Then type in key words from your topic

 You can also do an advanced scholar search…
 Use Scholar Help for browsing/search guidelines
Conduct a Literature Search

 You can also browse specific journals…

 If you absolutely do not have a topic scan the TOC of
  journals like Psychological Bulletin or Review of
  General Psychology
   A list is of journals is found on the library webpage under
    all electronic resources in psychology
What Do You Need:
 5 peer-reviewed journal articles for your literature
  review. Paper copies MUST be turned in with
 At least one article must have been published from
  2005 to present.
 These references must come from established scholarly
  psychology journals – NOT from the Internet, television,
  radio, magazines.
Good Source versus Bad Source

 Bad: Newspaper and Magazine Articles, Random
  Internet Sites, TV programs (e.g. “Dr. Phil”)
   Why? Subject to more biases, often not scientific studies,
    credibility often questionable

 Good: Journal articles
   Why? Peer-reviewed
   Many journals have full text available through the MSU
Step 3: Read, Think… Develop a

 Figure out what has been done. This way you will be
  able to figure out what you can do to make a UNIQUE
   Hint: Look at each article’s Discussion. There is usually a
    discussion of limitations and future directions.
 Propose a Testable Hypothesis
 Format Example:
   H0: There is no association between IQ and crime in the
   H1: There is a negative association between IQ and crime.
Step 4: Write the Introduction (Re-Read
Chapter 20)

 Introduce big idea in first paragraph
   Big Idea: Craft an argument for why your research is

 Summarize what has been done. Indicate the study that
  needs to be done (i.e., the study you will do)
 Describe why this kind of study can add to the literature
 Use citations to support your arguments.
 State Hypothesis at the end
Step 5: Write Method Section

 Describe how you will actually conduct your study.
 First describe the population and/or sampling plan
 Decent: One hundred fifty undergraduates (50%
  women) from a large Midwestern university
  participated for partial course credit. One hundred
  were white, forty were African American, and ten were
  Asian American. Average age of participants was 20.2
  years (SD = 1.35; Range: 18-56).
Describe Procedures

 Decent: The effects of anxiety on math test
  performance were examined using a randomized two-
  group experimental design. Participants were
  randomly assigned to receive an anxiety manipulation
  or a control condition. Anxiety was manipulated by
  informing participants that they would gain/lose money
  as a result of their performance whereas those in the
  control condition were simply told to try their best.
 Provide text of actual manipulation
Describe and Justify Measures

 Explain how each construct was operationally defined.
 If you use existing measures try to get complete set of
  items. Provide evidence of reliability and validity.
  Justify why this is a good measure of construct X.
 If you create your own measures. Justify why you need
  to do this! Describe all items and response options.
  Explain how you would obtain reliability and validity
Step 6: Write Plan of Analysis

 Identify the statistical procedure that you will use to
  evaluate your research hypothesis.

 Common Options: correlation/regression techniques, t-
  tests, Analysis of Variance

 Discuss these with your TA as the time gets closer. Some
  topics will also be covered in future lectures.
Step 7: Write Discussion

 You will engage in a thought experiment:

 1. Imagine that you rejected your null hypothesis.

 2. Imagine that you failed to reject your null
Imagine that you rejected your null

 What does this mean? How does this fit with previous
  research? What are some qualifications? What else
  could explain what happened? Are there limits to the
  generalizability of these findings? What else needs to
  be done?
Imagine that you failed to reject your
null hypothesis

 What does this mean? What could have caused this?
  How does this fit with previous research? What are
  some qualifications? What else needs to be done? What
  could you have done differently?
 Here you have to make a judgment – do you think the
  idea was wrong or whether the study was flawed?
 Remember: The absence of evidence IS NOT evidence of
Step 8: Write Up References Page
 Use APA style correctly
   Refer to lecture
   Refer to APA Publication Manual (in Library)
   Refer to online resources:
Let’s See How YouTube Does Its
Doing Research
 Google Research on the value of YouTube

 Identify the:
     Target Population
     Purpose of the Study
     Methods (When conducted and How)
     Sample Size
     Results
Let’s Pause for a Break!
Writing Introductions
About academic writing…
Goal of the introduction
 The purpose of an introduction in a psychology paper is
  to justify the reasons for writing about your topic. Your
  goal in this section is to introduce the topic to the
  reader, provide an overview of previous research on the
  topic, and identify your own hypothesis.
My Paper Topic
 Why Summer Session 395
  Students in Section 101 and
  102 are smarter than
  students in sections 103-
Part I: Introduce the Topic
 Your first task is to provide a brief description of the
  research question.

 How are you going get me oriented towards the subject?

 What is the experiment or study attempting to

 What phenomena are you studying?

 Define your terms
My introduction: Part I
 In many recent years, the popularity of summer courses
  has increased. In fact, at Michigan State University,
  about 42% of students have taken a summer course
  when surveyed in 2006 versus only 27% in 1998
  (Statisticsman, 2006). The fact that the increase in
  summer schooling has increased has raised many
  academic brow. More specifically, the profile of the
  summer schooling student has just been recently
  identified. However, the topic of the intelligence level
  of these students compared to the normal population
  has not yet been fully dissected.
Part II: Summarize Previous
 The second task of your introduction is to provide a
  well-rounded summary of previous research that is
  relevant to your topic.

 So, before you begin to write this summary, it is
  important to thoroughly research your topic.

 Finding appropriate sources amid thousands of journal
  articles can be a daunting task, but there are a number
  of steps you can take to simplify your research.
My Introduction: Part II
 Most recently, the research has been very inconclusive
  and speculative on the topic. In a study done in 2002,
  Smartman conducted interviews with 207 students
  asking them them to profile their personality. Smartman
  also conducted the same interviews with Fall and Spring
  semester students. The results of his analysis concluded
  that summer students were more outgoing and had
  higher levels of agreeableness. Similarly, in 2005,
  researchers wanted to address if summer school
  students received higher grades because teachers did
  not care as much. Using a between-subjects design,
  researchers found that in fact teachers statistically gave
  about 20% more 4.0’s than in their fall or spring classes.
Part III: Hypothesize
 Once you have summarized the previous research,
  explain areas where the research is lacking or
  potentially flawed.

 What is missing from previous studies on your topic?

 What research questions have yet to be answered?

 Your own hypothesis should lead from these questions.
  At the end of your introduction, offer your hypothesis
  and describe what you expected to find in your
  experiment or study.
My introduction: Part III
 After reviewing the research, none of the researchers
  actually delved into the area of knowledge and
  intelligence. While the Geekboy (2005) study did ask
  participants to give GPA, studies on GPA have been
  shown to be variable dependent on the university
  (UniversityResearchMan, 2003) and therefore
  comparisons of GPA are not sufficient to make bold
  claims on intelligence. Therefore, we will research the
  area of intelligence in summer school students.
  Because of the tendency to have more motivated
  students as such by MotivationStudyMan (2004), we
  believe grades will be higher.
Visual to Introductions

                          and Goals

                          Review what is
                          wrong with


                          topic and
                          define terms
 Autism is a pervasive development disorder with
 characteristics first described by Dr. Leo Kanner in the
 middle of the twentieth century. Currently, autism is
 defined as a developmental disorder with deficits in
 social skills, communication, and atypical behaviors.
 According to the DSM IV-TR the symptoms of autism
 must be present prior to age three (Mash & Wolfe,
 Autism is referred to as a spectrum disorder. The
 disorder ranges from a severe autistic disorder to a
 milder form called Asperger’s syndrome (“Autism
 Spectrum Disorders”, 2007). Children with autism have
 a difficult time in social situations and relating to other
 people’s feelings (Mash & Wolfe, 2007). Abnormal
 communication and language deficits are also displayed
 by children with autism, as well as repetitive behaviors,
 interests, and activities. Some of the activities can
 include ritualistic routines, obsessive fixations, flailing,
 and stimulating body movements (Mash & Wolfe, 2007).
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 150
  children in America over the age of eight are diagnosed with an autism
  spectrum disorder (“Autism Information Center”, 2007). However, it is 3
  to 4 more times likely to occur in boys than girls (“Autism Spectrum
  Disorders”, 2007). It is apparent that more children are being diagnosed
  with autism, but it is not clear if the increase is due to changing
  classification standards or because of a real increase in frequency
  (“Autism Information Center”, 2007). Autism is seen in all social classes
  around the world (Mash & Wolfe, 2007). Autism is usually identified by
  parents around two years of age, although symptoms are sometimes
  present earlier in life. There is no known cause or cure for autism, but
  with the help of various treatments, children with autism usually show
  developmental progress with age (Mash & Wolfe, 2007).

The purpose for my research is to examine the effect that the mercury
  preservative in vaccinations, thimerosal, has on developing autism.
  Numerous studies have previously been conducted to see if the mercury
  based preservative in the immunization are related to Autism Spectrum
  Disorders. Immunizations have been one of the greatest successes in
  medicine. However many studies are interested in examining if autism is
  a possible side effect. Parents of children with autism have reported a
  regression of early milestones and development that may be related to
  immunizations (Mash & Wolfe, 2007).
Richler et al. (2006) completed a quasi-experimental,
  retrospective, cross sectional study to examine the
  relationship between a regressive phenotype of autism
  spectrum disorder and the Measles-Mumps-Rubella
  (MMR) vaccine. Parents of 351 children with autism and
  a control group of 31 children were contacted to
  participate in an interview. Regression is defined by the
  researchers as the loss of social and communication
  skills usually between 15 and 24 months of age (Richler
  et al., 2006). Caregivers were asked to describe and
  answer questions about their child’s communication
  development, gastrointestinal symptoms, and age at
Further studies examine age at the first MMR vaccination in
children with autism. DeStefano, Bhasin, Thompson, Yeargin-
Allsopp, and Boyle’s (2004) objective was to compare age at first
MMR vaccination between children with autism and children
without autism. This was a case-controlled, quasi-experimental,
retrospective study. The population consisted of 624 children
with autism and 1,824 control children. Data on vaccinations
were extracted from required immunization records required by
schools.        A significant limitation of the current studies of
autism is that most of them are performed retrospectively.
Recall bias is a significant limitation of a retrospective study.
Parent’s often thought that the regression occurred after the
vaccination, but there was evidence that there had been concern
before the vaccination. Often when parents know the outcome
of something, they are likely to relate it to past events. If future
studies are done prospectively, researchers will be more likely to
follow participants and discover the etiology of autism. In the
present study, a randomized two-group design was created to
further examine the relationship between the thimerosal in the
MMR vaccine and the development of autism.
Study Purpose and Specific Goals. Thus, the purpose of my
  overall research is to determine whether or not there is a
  relationship between vaccinations and the development of
  autism. From observing children from the time they are born
  this pilot study’s main goals are:
  To prospectively measure developmental milestones of a child
     from birth until 3 years of age.
  To evaluate the developmental effects the MMR immunization
     had on the treatment group.
  To evaluate the developmental effects of not immunizing the
     control group with the MMR vaccination.

The null and alternative hypotheses for my research are:
  H0: There is no relationship between the MMR vaccination
    (dependent variable) and the development of autism
    (indpenednt variable).
  H1: There is a relationship between the MMR vaccination and the
    development of autism.
How they are graded (33 points)
   This section is labeled Introduction. There is not a colon after the word Introduction. There is only one
    introduction section in the report. There are no other subtitles in this section. (1)

   The introduction provides the reader with enough information to know what the experiment is about
    and why it is being conducted. Sufficient information is provided that the reader can understand the
    rest of the paper. The writer also explains why the hypotheses are being proposed. (5)

   The introduction talks about at least 4 experiments or studies that have been done on the research
    idea. Each experiment is discussed in a way that is appropriate to the paper. (20 points/5 per study).

   The writing quality makes logical sense… Use Logical arguments (See Lecture 1)

   If a case study is involved, the writer tells how the hypothesis explains the observation in the case
    study. The person in the case study should be mentioned by name. This item applies only to laboratory
    exercises based on a case study.

   The hypothesis is stated and is clearly identified as the hypothesis that will be tested in the
    experiment. For example, "the hypothesis tested is..." clearly identifies the hypothesis. The hypothesis
    is appropriate for the observation being studied. The hypothesis is stated as a sentence that is either
    true or false. If the laboratory exercise has more than one hypothesis, they should all be stated. (5)

   APA Formatting (2 points)
Evaluate Strengths

Evaluate Weakness

Write on the Board

Give a Letter Grade

                      In Class
 In your groups, briefly make sure you understand:
   What makes a “good” research paper?
   What makes a “good” introduction?
   What are common mistakes in introductions?
     You should be able to give examples of each one of these

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