Posted: January 28th, 2023


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.

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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.

Assignment Guidelines

Your assignment should include the following information using a bulleted format and the labels you see here.

  • Topic:
    • 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.










Title Here


First and Last Name Here

Department of XXX, College Here

Class number here (It is Psyc 005): Name of Class here (It is Research Methods in Psychology)

Instructor name here



Title from Title Page Here

The title is formatted using an APA style level 1 heading. It is bold and centered. The four main sections of research articles are the Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion and are also formatted as level 1 headings.

Using the bulleted questions below, summarize the key ideas of each section. Use compete sentences to create a paragraph/s. Delete the questions and text and enter your own content.


By answers the questions below you will have effectively introduced the research topic.

· What was the researcher interested in (what was the research topic)?

· What were the variables? How were they  conceptually defined? (See  Chapter 4, Psychological Measurement (Links to an external site.) ; especially section 21. Practical Strategies for Psychological Measurement)

· What were the researcher’s research questions and/or hypothesis?


All information in the Methods section should pertain to who participated in the study and how the study was conducted. The Methods section is often (but not always) broken into sub-sections including Sample, Design, Measures, and Procedure. Sometimes sections are combined or different terms are used (e.g., Participants instead of Sample), so if you don’t find the specific term in the article just read to find the relevant content. For this paper, please separate information into the sub-headings noted below and format each using an APA level 2 heading – bold and left-justified.


· Describe the sample – sample size (how many), gender, age, ethnicity and race, any other important demographic information.

· How were they recruited?


If the terms below are not mentioned in the article, apply your knowledge of the concepts to answer the questions.

· Was the research experimental or non-experimental?

· If non-experimental:

· Was it simply describing variable(s), or was it correlational?

· If experimental:

· What was the independent variable(s)? What was the dependent variable(s)?

· Was a between-subjects or within-subjects design used?


Think of this section as the ingredients list of a cooking recipe. What materials (e.g., questionnaires, parental observations, dental records, etc.) did the authors use to measure the variables of interest?

· How did the author/s operationally define the variables?

· i.e., what measures where used? (What are they called and what do they measure?)


Think of this section as the “how to” part of a cooking recipe – where the chef explains when and how the ingredients are incorporated to make the dish. In the same way, summarize the steps the researcher followed to conduct the research.

· What did the participants have to do?


Read the Results section completely and then re-read it to find sentences that sum up, in everyday language, the findings. These “main takeaway” sentences are often (though not always) near the end of the Results section and can help you summarize the findings for your paper. Be sure to put the information in your own words.

· What did the researchers find/what were the results?

· Note: for this section, you do not need to include any statistical information. Using everyday language, explain what the main findings were.


The purpose of the Discussion section is for the authors to critically examine what went well and what didn’t go as planned. They also discuss conclusions that can be drawn from the research and how future research on the topic might be conducted.

· What explanations (possible reasons) does the researcher give for the results? In other words, why do they think they found what they did?

· What were the limitations of the study?

· What do the researchers recommend future research should do?




The Reference section is always on a new page. To “lock in” your page break, hold the keyboard Command/Control and Enter keys simultaneously. This will create a new page that will not move if you edit your document.

Using APA style, reference the article. You can find an example here: Notice the hanging indent (like a reverse paragraph) and double spacing. Notice that the article title is sentence case and that the journal title is italicized. Pay attention to detail when creating references.

If you used any other resources, reference them as well. Follow the appropriate example using the APA site:




Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that involves using your imagination to visualize peaceful or calming scenes, such as a beach or a forest. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique that involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body, with the goal of reducing muscle tension and promoting relaxation. Both techniques are often used to help reduce stress and anxiety, and may be used together or separately.

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