Observations

Week 4 Assignment: Observations (This assignment must be done in APA format with resources). There is no page limit, except question 5 must be 300-400 words. Each question must be answered in detail with each one being a paragraph or more.

A common source for research ideas is simply observing your environment and questioning why things work the way they do or how situations came to be. In this way, we can all be researchers. As humans, we spend considerable effort trying to understand our environment, what causes people to behave or think a certain way. Using research methods, we seek to quantify events, attitudes, or behavior to systematically understand relationships among variables.

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enlightenedIn this assignment, you will start at the beginning of the scientific process: observation. You will make 5 research-oriented observations about anything you see in your normal environment (home, work, grocery store, gym, etc.).

For each observation, include the following:

1) a description of the observation of interest

2) a research question generated from that observation

3) the independent variable in your research question

4) the dependent variable in your research question

5) ethical and/or methodological concerns that might arise in trying to answer your research question (the answer for this question has to be 300-400 words)

Example:

Observation: A child playing on a Tablet

Research Question: Do children who spend more than 3 hours a day on electronic devices sleep better or worse than children who spend less than 3 hours a day on electronic devices.

Independent Variable: Amount of time spent on electronic device

Dependent Variable: Average number of hours slept per night

Concerns: It may not be in the best interest of children to encourage them to spend time on electronic devices. This may cause behavioral issues for children and there would need to be ways to help children if this adversely impacts their behavior. Consent from parents will be required. It may be difficult to find parents who are willing to let their children be studied. How we measure the amount of time spent could impact our results. Also, depending on the participants used in the study, the results may not apply to other groups or populations.

Note:  This assignment is purely hypothetical and should not involve direct interaction with participants.  Keep in mind:

Any new research regardless of size or scope MUST go through the IRB review and approval process BEFORE conducting any interviews or solicitation for the study. This is not only a university policy but a federally mandated requirement. Failure to do so can invalidate the research and open the researcher up to liability for any damages charged as a result. If in doubt, please reach out to your instructor, program director, or librarian. More information can be found at the link below.

https://www.apa.org/research/responsible/irbs-psych-science

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