Research Paper Instructions

You will be responsible for writing a Research Paper focusing on a social psychology topic of your choosing. The topic must be one that is discussed in the textbook. The focus of the paper will be to present experimental research regarding your topic.

For your paper, you must use and cite 2 peer-reviewed journal articles that demonstrate experimental research regarding your topic. This means that your articles must include a manipulated independent variable that attempts to show a cause-and-effect relationship with a measured dependent variable (see pages 30–37 in your textbook for a full review of the experimental method). The article must contain original research conducted by the authors and may not be a review article or meta-analysis.

Some examples include:

You choose to do your paper on the Bystander Effect (see page 315 of textbook for definition). You may find an article that manipulated the number of people present (the independent variable; IV) and measured helping behavior (the dependent variable; DV). You choose Cognitive Dissonance as your topic (see page 138) and you find an article that manipulated how much participants were paid for a boring task (the IV) and their satisfaction rating of the task after it was over (the DV).

Keep in mind that these 2 articles must come from academic, peer-reviewed journals. Articles from newspapers, magazines, and websites will not count. Also, information from unpublished dissertations contained in dissertation or thesis databases should not be used. In addition to your 2 peer-reviewed articles, you must also cite the textbook in your paper. Other book sources will not count toward the source requirements.

You will submit your paper as a Microsoft Word document through Safe Assign. A “draft” link is available for you to check the originality of your work, but all papers must be submitted in the “final” link for credit and grading. Your paper must contain original work to this course only (i.e., you cannot reuse a paper or portion of a paper you have written in the past for another course). Papers that do not include a topic covered in the textbook will be returned and you will be asked to submit a new paper. Normal late policies will apply. In addition, the paper must be written entirely in your own words. Quotes are not permitted and will result in a score reduction. Be sure you are paraphrasing information from articles well and citing correctly to avoid plagiarism. Paraphrasing that is too close to the original wording is still considered plagiarism. All instances of plagiarism will be reviewed and action taken as necessary (e.g., point reduction, Code of Honor report, a score of 0 for the paper, failure of the course).

Your paper must include a current APA-style title page, abstract, body, and reference section. The body of the paper must be at least 5 pages (not including the title page, abstract, and references). Be sure to use current APA-style citations throughout the paper to avoid plagiarism.

The structure of the paper must follow the outline below. You do not need to use these exact headings in the paper, but your paper must follow this general structure/order and all section components must be included for maximum credit.

1. Title Page – current APA style

2. Abstract – current APA style

3. Introduction

  • Describe the social psychology concept you are researching
  • Give a definition and brief background of why this concept is important

4. Review of Article I

Introduce the article, including the purpose of the article and any relevant hypotheses.Summarize methods (i.e., type of participants, procedures used to manipulate IV, DV measurement procedures)Summarize study resultsExplain how study and results demonstrate or support the social psychology topic chosen (you must be able to demonstrate that you can relate the specific study results to the general topic chosen)Explain how methods of two articles are similar or different. The following elements must be compared: type of subjects used, procedure used to manipulate IVs, procedure used to measure DVs.

Explain how the specific results of each study are similar/different. It is not enough to simply say the results are similar or different; you must include specific details supporting your statement. For example, if your paper is comparing two articles on the bystander effect, you could note if the percentage of participants that demonstrated helping behavior was higher/lower than in the other article.

7. Conclusion

  • Briefly summarize/define the chosen topic
  • Briefly summarize the major results of each study
  • Explicitly describe how together the results of the two studies support or add to your understanding of the topic chosen.

8. Reference Page – Current APA style

  • Include 2 peer-reviewed journal articles describing original experimental research
  • Include textbook reference

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