Research ProposalA research proposal justifies the need to study a research problem and presents a practical way that the study can be conducted. Research proposals present NEW ideas and are not replications of previous research. All proposals should be quantitative in nature. 

A draft introduction, commonly found in proposals (dissertations, grants), is broken down into sections that highlight the importance and significance of your topic, relevant previous research, the gap (how your research idea is different from previous research), and your research question and hypothesis. Use the attached template to guide your writing. Your draft should include each section in the template. Pay special attention to your RQ and hypothesis as these determine your future study. 
Review our KL sessions and PowerPoints from Weeks 1-3 for examples of how to approach the elements of the proposal including gap, RQ, and hypothesis.
Length- 5-7 pages
A template and example paper are attached to ensure you understand the expectations for this assignment. 

 

Chapter 24: Fischer, A. H. & Manstead, A. S. R. (2016). Social Functions of Emotion and Emotion Regulation. In L. Feldman Barrett, M. Lewis, & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, 4th Ed. (pp. 424-439). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Chapter 19: Sands, M., Ngo, N., & Isaacowitz, D. M. (2016). The interplay of motivation and emotion: View from adulthood and old age. In L. Feldman Barrett, M. Lewis, & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, 4th Ed. (pp. 336-349). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

In addition, read the following article:

Article:  Tooby, J. & Cosmides, L. (2008). The evolutionary psychology of the emotions and their relationship to internal regulatory variables. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. Feldman-Barret (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, 3rd Ed. (pp. 114-137). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Tooby, J. & Cosmides, L. (2008). The evolutionary psychology of the emotions and their relationship to internal regulatory variables. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. Feldman-Barret (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, 3rd Ed. (pp. 114-137). New York, NY: Guilford Press. – Alternative Formats

WEEK 1 Cognitive & Affective Basis of Behavior

Welcome to Cognitive & Affective Basis of Behavior • Professor: Dr. Lori Daniels
• Preferred Contact Method:
• Email: [email protected]
• For bigger questions or concerns:
• Phone: 561-212-4205 (eastern standard time)

Questions this course will consider…
• What are emotions?
• How do we regulate emotions?
• How do emotions impact attention and memory?
• How should we study emotions and their impact on everyday life (relationships, work)?
• What is the role between emotions and mental illnesses?
Emotions: 1) physiology 2) conscious experience 3) expressive behaviors

COURSE MATERIALS
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American
Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
ISBN: 9781433832178
Feldman Barrett, L., Lewis, M., & Haviland-Jones, J. M. (Eds.). (2016). Handbook of
Emotions, 4th Ed. Guilford Press.
ISBN: 9781462525348
Major Changes to 7th edition APA manual: https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/apa-seventh-edition-changes/

Overview • Discussion Boards
• Part 1
• Covers topics of week. Requires a discussion of an empirical research article (your choice) linked to topic.
• Only use articles that have a methods section and report results for the first time
• Select a new article (not one assigned as part of weekly reading).
• Part 2
• Allows for practice “trial run” of proposal elements of the major paper
• Major Paper • 2 Drafts Parts
• 3 Peer Review Feedback
• Final paper

Major Project • The major assignment for this course is a project in which you will develop a research
proposal for an empirical investigation of a psychological topic.
• Research proposals include: • Background/Lit Review (synthesis of other’s research that summarizes what is currently
known)
• Gap in previous research (what you identify as still unknown) & Hypothesis (what you will test for your study)
• Your study’s proposed methods to test the hypothesis
• Your study’s expected results
• Your study’s limitations
• In other words- you will design (but not conduct) a study and go through the steps similar to a research proposal.

Project Purpose
• The intent of the major project is to practice the same process you will encounter for dissertation proposal • Albeit on a much smaller scale
• In this spirit, you may (and are encouraged to) select a topic that you foresee as a potential dissertation topic.
• Please note, final decisions regarding topics and methodology are to be made after comprehensive exams with guidance from your chair. Therefore, I can not approve any topics for dissertation;)
• However, this project will be excellent practice for the process AND may even help guide you toward ideas for your dissertation!

Research Proposals
• In a research proposal, you develop a creative research design OF YOUR OWN.
• Do I have to be able to actually “do” my proposed methods? • I strongly encourage you to consider the real-world limitations you will face when
conducting research. More often than not, it is these limitations that we must work around and find creative solutions.
• I will walk through the steps of this proposal BUT expect to go outside of the normal comfort zone… Push yourself, stay involved in the course and incorporate feedback from instructor, peer and writing center!

Elements of Proposal • Literature Review
• Synthesis of previous literature
• Identify gap in literature
• Generate (include your own) hypotheses that logically follow from gap
• Methods (proposed) • Participants
• Sampling methods
• Design/procedure
• Expected Results • Proposed Statistics
• Discussion • Potential Limitations

Guidelines
• Because of the importance of this major project and its similar structure to what you will be doing for your dissertation:
• 1. Model your paper after published research in tone and follow APA guidelines
• 2. Use the APA manual and Writing Studio to help guide synthesis of literature
• 3. Participate in Peer Review

Peer Review Component • You will be assigned a feedback partner with whom you will discuss your work on
your major paper throughout the term; your feedback partner will provide a peer review of your work using the same evaluation rubrics that your instructor will be using.
• Assigned on Week 3 (after Draft Introduction)
• You will be graded on the quality of feedback you give your partner. They will not grade you but instead give helpful feedback.
• The peer review feature is intended to approximate the peer review process that is a part of many professional societies, conferences, and publication processes.

Grading Events – Online Course % of Grade
Threaded Discussion 8 weeks @ 2.5%
20%
Major Paper-Draft Components Draft Literature Review (Wk 3) 15% Draft Methods, Expected Findings, Limitations (Wk 5) 15%
30%
Major Paper-Final Paper Final Written Proposal (Wk 7) 30%
30%
Peer Review of Others’ Paper Components Peer Review of Another’s Draft Literature Review (Wk 4) 5% Peer Review of Another’s Draft Methods, Results, Limitations (Wk 6) 5% Peer Review of Another’s Final Project Paper (Wk 8) 10%
20%
Cumulative Total of Assessments 100%

Due Dates
• Since this project is cumulative in nature it is important to make the posted due dates.
• This ensures feedback BEFORE you move on to next section. For this project, you CANNOT move on to next section without approval/feedback.
• You are responsible to your peer review partner. Please respect the schedule and send them your work so they have enough time to make meaningful comments.

Week 1 WEEK ONE: Overview
•Course orientation
•Modern definitions of emotion
•Cognitive perspective
Content:
Chapter 31: Clore, G. L. & Schiller, A. J. (2016). New light on the affect-cognition
connection. In L. Feldman Barrett, M. Lewis, & J. M. Haviland-Jones
(Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, 4th Ed. (pp. 532-546). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Article: Baumeister, R. F., Dale, K., & Sommer, K. L. (1998). Freudian defense
mechanisms and empirical findings in modern social psychology: Reaction
formation, projection, displacement, undoing, isolation, sublimation, and
denial. Journal of Personality, 66(6), 1081-1095.
Article: Siemer, M., Mauss, I., & Gross, J. J. (2007). Same situation— different emotions: How appraisals shape our emotions. Emotion, 7, 592-600.
Web Lu, Z.-L. & Dosher, B. A. (2007). Cognitive psychology. Scholarpedia, 2(8), 2769. Retrieved from http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Cognitive_psychology

Discussion Board Expectations • Initial post before or on Wednesday (midnight) each week
• Late posts will result in automatic 10% deduction
• Respond to 2 peers before Sunday night each week (on 2 separate days).
• Responses to peers after Sunday night will not be accepted
• **If you attend KL, discussion board requirements are reduced to 1 initial and 1 response to peer. Above deadlines still apply.
• When discussing articles: • Please explain or elaborate on question. Tell us what the research found but then INTERPRET!!
• Remember.. Your peers have not read the article you read. Explain- do not assume we have read it.
• Use your own voice.. Add a question or comment that demonstrates why you think the research is important or the connections you see.
• Be creative!!! Research is interesting when we discuss rather than simply tell. Add your comments, questions and critique. Tell us why the article was interesting to you. What you think the results mean and why we should focus on it.

Research Lab
• Mondays 8pm eastern
Discussion of all things dissertation (before, during & after)
To join the Blackboard lab please contact Dr. Dan:
[email protected]

Last but not least!
Keiser Live sessions
Discussion of: • Topics
• Major project
• Incentive for live attendance- If you attend KL then the discussion board requirements will be reduced to 1 initial and 1 response to peer for that week.
• Reminder: Keiser email (needed for class updates and peer review interactions)

,

Week 2 Cognitive and Affective Basis of Behavior

Discussion Board
 Part 1:
 Let’s discuss emotion, attention and memory!!
Choose one concept, research finding, or question that stood out to you in your readings and
content assigned for this week. Find an empirical research article about this that was
published in the scientific literature in the last 7 years and provide a summary of that article
here answering the following questions
 Part 2:
 This week we will practice setting up the gap, RQ and hypothesis for the proposal

Purpose of Research Proposals
 The goal of a research proposal is to present and justify the need to
study a research problem and to present a practical way in which the
proposed study will be conducted.
 Provides persuasive evidence that a need exists for the proposed study
 describes detailed quantitative* methodology for conducting the
research
*The Psychology department requires that all dissertations
use quantitative methods.
Difference between quantitative and qualitative methods:
https://www.scribbr.com/methodology/qualitative-
quantitative-research/

Mini-Proposal
 A proposal includes a:
 literature review which highlights a gap in research and links to a hypothesis, (Week 3)
 proposed methods, (Week 5)
 expected results (including how you would analyze data), (Week 5)
 and discussion of potential limitations. (Week 5)
 For this project, it is a “mini-proposal” and will not be NEARLY as in-depth as a dissertation
proposal BUT it will….
 follow the same steps
 use quantitative methodology

Lit Review, Gap, RQ’s and Hypothesis
 Literature Review
 discussion of previous research selected to highlight issues and
common findings—WHAT IS KNOWN
 Gap/Rationale
WHAT IS UNKNOWN or MISSING (motivates proposed study)
 Research Question(s)
 Specific questions the study looks to answer. Includes measurable
variables and population of interest (if applicable)
 Hypothesis
 Specific predictions based on RQ’s
Literature Review GAP RQ Hypothesis

Gap  A gap in research is:
 A knowledge gap- what is unknown still in the field
 What is missing or not addressed in previous studies
 Allows for a logical connection to your hypothesis
 Also referred to the rationale for the study
 Commonly come from:
 Inconsistency in the literature (as a way to explain the inconsistency)
 Extension of literature
 Supporting a theory (in new/different way)
 Addressing (overcoming) limitations of other studies
 Interactions not previously examined (moderating and mediating factors)
 Focus on a specific population/group (gender, age, culture)

How gaps are written…
 The language used to explain the gap (rationale) has a pattern
 Indicates the logical connection between previous studies and the current one you are proposing
 Follows a format (known to unknown)
Although previous studies have found ___________, no study to date has examined ____________.
, has/have not been… (studied/reported/elucidated)
, is required/needed…
,the key question is/remains…
, it is important to address…
 Excellent resource for examples:

Previous studies examining the impact of HIV and comorbid ELS have revealed that
high levels of ELS in HIV+ individuals negatively impact neurocognitive function as well as
brain gray matter volumetrics and functional activation. Yet, the impact of this comorbidity has
not yet been examined in white matter integrity; therefore, we currently lack a comprehensive
understanding of the impact of ELS on the brains of HIV+ individuals. The proposed study will
address this gap in the literature by using diffusion tensor imaging metrics and
neuropsychological assessment to examine white matter and cognition among 50 HIV+
individuals with ELS (≥ 1 childhood abuse and/or neglect events as defined by the ELSQ;
HIV+/ELS+) and 50 HIV+ individuals with no ELS (0 ELS events; HIV+/ELS–). Additionally,
25 HIV– individuals with ELS (HIV–/ELS+) and 25 HIV– individuals with no ELS (HIV–/ELS)
will be examined.
Examples of rationale (gap) for studies:

Previous research has investigated tEI in many professional settings such as
healthcare professionals in short and long-term care (Nightingale et al., 2018)
and mental health counselors (Gutierrez & Mullen, 2016). However, little
information exists on tEI in caregivers who cohabitate with their care
recipients, specifically, pertaining to the care of persons with SMHDs. This
study will fill the void of knowledge about the informal and familiar
caregivers who share their homes with persons suffering from SMHDs
possibly providing new insights into therapy for these caregivers.

Much like the influence of general self-efficacy on human functioning
(Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997), academic self-efficacy is said to increase
student effort and persistence (Bandura, 1997). However, there is yet to be a
study that explores the relationship between academic self-efficacy and ALS.
The current study will yield further research into the influence of ALS on
academic self-efficacy. The implications of the research have the potential of
enhancing ALS to promote better academic success for students.

Research Questions (RQs)
 After identifying a gap, you present a research question(s) that guides your
study and includes variables of interest and population (if applicable):
 RQ1. Is there a relationship between spiritual intelligence and psychological
well-being among refugees?

Continuous vs Grouped variables
 Continuous Variables
 Range of meaningful numerical values
Many scales
 Self-esteem (5-20 range)
 Grouped Variables
Variables based on category (type or name)
 Pre-test/Post-test
Gender, Race
 IV vs control
 Styles or Types

Research Questions (Types)  Relationships/correlation (continuous variables)
 Is there a relationship between Variable A and Variable B (in name of population being studied)?
 Is there a relationship between spiritual intelligence and psychological well-being among refugees?
spiritual intelligence scale (continuous); psychological well-being scale (continuous)
 Differences (grouped IV)
 Is there a difference in DV based on level of IV (in name of population being studied)?
 Is there a difference in self-esteem based on parenting styles?
IV: parenting styles scale (groups); DV: self-esteem scale
 Is there a difference in job satisfaction for teachers after emotional intelligence training compared to controls?
IV: emotional intelligence training (group vs control); DV: job satisfaction scale

Research Questions (More than one IV)
Mediation: 2nd variable explains (or is responsible for) relationship
Does psychological safety mediate the relationship between employees’ deep level diversity and team creativity?
IV’s (psychological safety & deep level diversity); DV: team creativity
Moderation: 2nd variable impacts strength or direction
Does age moderate the relationship between EI and job performance?
IV’s (age & EI); DV: job performance

Hypothesis
 A statement of prediction stemming from research questions
 RQ1. Is there a relationship between spiritual intelligence (SI)
and psychological well-being (PWB) among refugees?
 Null Hyp: There is not a relationship between spiritual
intelligence and psychological well-being in refugees.
 Alternative Hyp: There is a relationship between spiritual
intelligence and psychological well-being in refugees.
Note: The hypothesis and RQ are really two sides of the same coin. One is written as a
question while the other is written as a declarative statement.

Examples of Hypotheses
 There is a correlation between global trait emotional intelligence and empathy in cohabitant
caregivers of persons with severe mental illness.
 RQ: Is there a correlation between global trait emotional intelligence and empathy in cohabitant caregivers of persons with severe mental illness?
 Students’ perception of adaptive learning is significantly associated with academic self-efficacy.
 RQ: Are students’ perceptions of adaptive learning significantly associated with academic self-efficacy?
 Resiliency will mediate the relationship between parental support and academic achievement in
elementary students.
 RQ: Does resiliency mediate the relationship between parental support and academic achievement in elementary students?

Working Hypothesis
 Start with a “working hypothesis” in your mind
A general statement of what you will be doing which
becomes more focused the more you think about it
The best way to narrow your working hypothesis
is to think about how to test it

Methods (Testing the Hypothesis)
 In an empirical research proposal, you propose methods of
collecting data to test a hypothesis
Methods
Scales (ones found in literature)
Experiments (manipulate IV and measure DV); control groups
or pre-post design
What would you need to test this hypothesis?
Resiliency will mediate the relationship between parental support
and academic achievement in elementary students.

Part 2
This week we will practice setting up the gap, RQ and hypothesis for the proposal. Using the format below
and discussed in Keiser Live include a draft of each component:
Gap:
Although previous studies have found ___________(citations), no study to date has examined
____________.
RQ:
Is there a relationship between Variable A and Variable B (in name of population being studied)?
Or
Is there a difference in DV based on level of IV (in name of population being studied)?
Hypothesis:
There is a (positive/negative) relationship between Variable A and Variable B (in name of population being
studied).
Or
There is a difference in DV based on level of IV (in name of population being studied).
Discussion Board Part 2
For this
proposal,
you will have
only 1 RQ &
hypothesis.
Focus on
making it
specific,
measurable,
and doable

Literature Review/GAP/RQ/HYP
 Due at end of Week 3
 5-7 pages; minimum 10 references
 Use previous research to make your argument. Be selective in what you
include and do not include.
 See Week 3 template for how to organize paper
 Background
Gap
 RQ/Hyp
 Nature of Study
 Significance of Study

,

Week 3 Cognitive and Affective Basis of Behavior

Topic/Content
 WEEK THREE: Other Psychological Frameworks
 Social
 Lifespan
 Evolutionary
 Podcast: Radiolab (n.d.) Gut Feelings [Audio podcast].
 Podcast: Radiolab (n.d.) Overcome by Emotion [Audio podcast].

Assignments  1. Discussion Board
 2. Draft Literature Review (including gap/RQ/Hyp) for Proposal

Draft Manuscript Introduction
This component includes a  conceptual literature review,
 gap,
 research question/hypothesis
 5-7 pages
Minimum of 10 peer-reviewed journal articles

Major Paper Proposal Components
 1. Lit Review
 Previous research, gap, rq/hyp
 2. Methods
 Your participants and procedure
 3. Expected Results
 How you would analyze data
 4. Discussion/Potential Limitations
 Ethical considerations, threats to validity, potential problems
Week 5

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