This is the first assignment for your APA Research project. Each assignment builds on previous work so take care in completing this week’s work! By the time you finish the course, you will have first-hand experience constructing and administering a survey, as well as practice in analyzing your results and drawing conclusions.
As you learned from the previous page, you will be conducting non-experimental research using self-report surveys. Because this is your research, you may choose a topic of interest to you.
Before completing this assignment, please read the information on ‘Writing Survey Items’ in section 7.35 of your textbook Links to an external site.. Understanding the information that can be gained from survey items will make this assignment much easier. You will be learning about survey research in more detail next week.
Instructions for APA Project – Assignment # 1 (Survey Topic)
Please read each bullet point carefully.
- This week, you are to choose the topic you would like to research. Choose wisely! In next week’s assignment, you will create a survey using both open-ended and closed-ended items on your your selected topic.
- Don’t forget: You can choose to conduct observational or correlational research.
- Observational research – your research will describe one variable.
- Correlational research – your research will examine the relationship between two variables.
- Here is a pdf with some single variable topic ideas to get you started: ObservationalSurveyTopics.pdf. Download ObservationalSurveyTopics.pdf.Don’t be limited to these research questions though. Be creative and try to think of new ideas.
- Here are a few correlational topic ideas:
- Study habits and GPA
- Meditation/exercise/sleep habits and mood
- Quarantine and eating/drinking/exercise habits
- Living situation (e.g., alone, with friends, family, kids) and stress
- Social media use and stress
- Important: Your research is not being submitted to an IRB (from your Ethics chapter Links to an external site.: A committee that is responsible for reviewing research protocols for potential ethical problems) so please do not ask about private, sensitive, personal matters such as mental illness, sexuality and the like. Beyond that, have fun creating questions you really want answers to.
Your assignment should include the following information using a bulleted format and the labels you see here.
- Generally, what topic are you studying?
- For example, sleep quality during quarantine – this is a correlational example. (Please do not choose this topic.)
- Who is your population?
- For example, anyone impacted by Covid-19.
- Based on your topic and population, are there any specific characteristics that your participants need to have in order to be eligible for your study? These required characteristics are called inclusion criteria. Including inclusion criteria means that only people who meet those criteria can participate in your study. You will need to specify this during recruitment.
- We don’t need any inclusion criteria in the sleep quality and quarantine example because the population is anyone that has been impacted by covid – which is everyone. However, if I was interested in exploring this relationship in a specific population (e.g., women or people between the ages of 18 and 25), then I would need to specify the inclusion criteria.
- Conceptual definitions: Provide a conceptual definition for your two variables.
- For example:
- Quarantine – isolating at home for 10-14 days.
- Sleep quality – includes bedtime, wake time, sleep duration, difficulties falling/staying asleep.
- Questions: Without worrying about the format (closed or open-ended) or how you would pose the questions to respondents, what questions related to your topic would you like to find answers to?
- For example, Have people’s sleep habits changed during quarantine? Have the number of hours changed, when people go to bed and wake up, or both? Do people feel rested? Are people experiencing difficulties falling and/or staying asleep? What demographic or other factors might be related to sleep changes during quarantine?
- Variables: Using the questions above, identify at least 3 measurable aspects of your variables of interest.
- For example, 1) quarantine or not, 2) amount of sleep, 3) sleep quality, 4) sleep-wake cycle, 5) sleep difficulties.
- Operational definitions: How will you operationally define (i.e., measure) each of your variables of interest?
- For example:
- Variable 1 – Quarantine
- Quarantine – response ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, currently quarantining due to Covid-19
- Variable 2 – Sleep Quality
- Amount of sleep – hours per night.
- Sleep quality – 5-point scale from ‘Very Poor’ to ‘Excellent’.
- Sleep-wake cycle – sleep bedtime and wake time for the day.
- Sleep difficulties – frequency of difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep, using a 5-point scale from ‘Never’ to ‘Always’.
- So we are interested in the relationship between quarantine and sleep. We have one variable to measure quarantine and several to measure sleep.
- Hypothesis: What is your hypothesis?
- For example, I hypothesize that sleep habits change during quarantine. Specifically, respondents go to sleep later and wake later than before quarantine. Respondents sleep 1 extra hour a night, on average, during quarantine.
Another example is provided on the next page.
Your assignment will pass through Turn It In, so be sure your work is your own.