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PSY 325 ENTIRE COURSE

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PSY 325 WEEK 1 FINAL PAPER TOPIC PROPOSAL


Final Paper Topic Proposal
For the Final Paper, you will identify three to five research studies from peer-reviewed
sources that were published within the last ten years, which investigate a particular
social science problem or topic. The Final Paper will focus on critiquing the varying

statistical approaches used in each of these studies.


Your assignment this Week is to identify the topic that you intend to focus on for your
Final Paper. You may select any social science problem or topic; however, it must be
something that has been studied using quantitative research methods. Some examples
of possible topics include:
Effectiveness of therapeutic interventions for a psychological disorder
Causes or treatment strategies for violence and aggression
Strategies for reducing prejudice
Factors impacting domestic violence
Causes and treatment of addiction
If you cannot identify quantitative research studies to critique, you will be unable to
complete the Final Paper and therefore may need to select a different topic.
Consequently, you are encouraged to search the Ashford University Library for
quantitative research studies on your chosen topic to ensure there are enough available
for use. For this assignment, include at least one quantitative research study from a
peer-reviewed source that was published within the last ten years, cited according to
APA guidelines and that supports your chosen topic.In order to identify which studies
are quantitative, skim the results section of the database you are searching. If the
results section contains a summary of statistical tests, then it would be considered
quantitative. Often the articles abstract will also make it clear that the study is
quantitative by including comments about the comparisons made in the study. Your
assignment must include your research topic and why you have decided to focus on this
particular topic for your Final Paper, the research hypothesis that you will be focusing on
for the topic you choose, as well as an introduction and conclusion. The paper should
be one to two pages in length (excluding title and reference pages) and adhere to
proper APA formatting as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

PSY 325 WEEK 1 DQ 1 TYPES OF DATA


Week 1 DQ 1 Types of Data
Give an example of a research question that includes an independent and a dependent
variable. These are usually presented as, How does A affect B?, where A is your
independent variable and B is your dependent variable. Describe the independent and
dependent variables in terms of whether they are nominal (also called categorical),
ordinal, interval, or ratio variables (interval or ratio variables are also called continuous
variables). How would you study this research question?
Guided Response: Review several of your classmates posts. Provide a substantive
response to at least two of your peers that demonstrates thoughtful reflection and
analysis of the discussion in relation to their variables and research questions. Were
their independent and dependent variables identified correctly? Was the variable type
specified well? What would you ask them for further clarification?

PSY 325 WEEK 1 DQ 2 MEASURES OF VARIABILITY


AND CENTRAL TENDENCY
Week 1 DQ 2 Measures of Variability and Central Tendency
For this discussion, come up with 20 different data points (set of data) and enter them
into the first column in an Excel spreadsheet. The data points can be any numbers you
want as long as there are 20 of them. Your set of data should reflect one of the following
criteria:
Create a set of data for which the mean is greater than the median.
or
Create a set of data for which the mean and median are equal but are different from
the mode.
You will then use the descriptive statistics option in Excel, which is explained in Chapter
1 of your course text. You should get an output similar to Figure 1.2. This output must
contain the following values: mean, standard error, median, mode, standard deviation,
sample variance, kurtosis, skewness, range, minimum, maximum, sum, count. Begin
your discussion by reporting your results for each of these values. Based on this output,
which single value best describes this set of data and why? If you could pick three of
these values instead of only one, which three would you choose and why? It is important
to note that the answers to these questions may be different for each of you since you
are each using unique sets of data.
Guided Response: Review several of your classmates posts. Provide a substantive
response to at least two of your peers. Do you agree with their selections of the best
value based upon their data?

PSY 325 WEEK 2 DQ GRAPHS


Give one example of health-related data (a variable) that can be represented by a pie
chart. Do the same for a bar chart and a histogram. Explain why each data example you
selected (there will be a total of three different variables) is well represented by the
corresponding graph.

PSY 325 WEEK 2 DQ 2 STANDARD NORMAL


DISTRIBUTION AND THE Z-SCORE
Week 2 DQ 2 Standard Normal Distribution and the z-Score
Review Chapter 3 of your course text, which introduces probability and the standard
normal distribution, and view the Z-Score video clip from the Films On Demand
database in the library. Provide a description of the meaning and use of the z-score.
Give an example that illustrates your answer.
Guided Response: Review several of your classmates posts. Respond substantively to
at least two peers. What did you like about their explanation and example? Would you
make any suggestions for improvement? Ask a question for further clarification as to the
meaning and use of the z-scores.

PSY 325 WEEK 2 ASSIGNMENT ARTICLE SUMMARY


Article Summary
For your Final Paper you will identify three to five quantitative research studies from
peer-reviewed sources which were published within the last ten years and that
investigate a particular social science problem or topic. The Final Paper will focus on
critiquing the varying statistical approaches used in each of these studies and assess
the strengths and weaknesses of each as it relates to the study of the problem or topic
identified.
This Week, utilize the Ashford University Library to select the three to five research
studies which investigate the particular social science problem or topic you have
chosen. Write a short summary of each of the studies. To be sure that each study meets
the requirements for the Final Paper, address each question below as you summarize
the article:
What topic is being investigated in this study?
What is the research question or questions being proposed in this study?
What or who is the sample being investigated?
What is the research or experimental design being used?
What statistical tests are being used in this study?

PSY 325 WEEK 3 DQ 1 CHOOSE THE ANALYSIS


Week 3 DQ 1 Choose the Analysis
A researcher wishes to study the effect of a new drug on blood pressure. Would you
recommend using a z-test, a t-test, or an A.N.O.V.A. for the analysis? Explain your
answer. What would your choice of test depend on? For the test you select, explain your
design and your comparison groups. Would the hypothesis be directional or nondirectional? Would the test be one-tailed or two-tailed? What would be the null and what
would be the alternative hypothesis?
Guided Response: Review several of your classmates posts. Respond to at least two of
your classmates. Do you agree or disagree with the test selected by your peer? What
suggestions would you make for change or improvement? How does the number of
groups being compared affect the statistical analysis?

PSY 325 WEEK 3 DQ 2 REPEATED MEASURES


Week 3 DQ 2 Repeated Measures
Review Chapter 7 of your course text, which reviews inferential statistics that analyze
experiments of repeated measures designs. For this discussion, search the Ashford
University Library and find a scholarly, peer-reviewed study on any behavioral or social

science topic that used a repeated measures design. Reference the study and
summarize the research question, the subjects, and the variable(s) of interest. What
statistical analysis was used and what were the results? Were there any statistically
significant differences? What does it mean for the results to be statistically significant?
What does this mean specifically for the differences assessed in this study? Cite your
study using APA format as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates. Consider the following
questions as you respond to each classmate: What did you learn about repeated
measures from the study they selected and their analysis? Could the same research
question have been answered by an independent between-group design? Why or why
not?

PSY 325 WEEK 3 ASSIGNMENT FINAL PAPER


OUTLINE
Final Paper Outline
This Week, your assignment is to prepare an outline for the Final Paper that is due next
Week. Review the Final Paper requirements, which are located in Week Five of your
course or in the Components of Course Evaluation section of this guide.
For each of the three to five quantitative research studies selected (from peer-reviewed
sources that were published within the last five years), the outline should include a
heading for the study and the sub-headings for Introduction, Methods, and Results. For

example:
I. First Study A. Introduction B. Methods C. Results
II. Second Study A. Introduction B. Methods C. Results, etc.
Every outline heading and subheading must include a two to three sentence description.
Additionally, for each study, indicate how it will support the overall concept of your Final
Paper and which areas of the Final Paper it will apply to. Your assignment must include
a reference page listing the three to five quantitative research studies from peerreviewed sources that were published within the last five years (these will also be used
for your Final Paper). It must be formatted according to APA guidelines as outlined in
the Ashford Writing Center.

PSY 325 WEEK 4 DQ 1 CORRELATION


Week 4 DQ 1 Correlation
Much has been written about the relationship between a students S.A.T. test scores and
their familys income. Generally speaking, there is a strong positive correlation between
income and S.A.T. scores. What might this tell you? Is this evidence that having a high
family income causes one to have high S.A.T. scores? Is this evidence that high S.A.T.
scores are a cause of high income? Or, does this tell you something else? If something
else, what? In the course of your response, explain why correlation alone is rarely
sufficient to demonstrate cause.
Guided Response: Review several of your classmates posts. Respond substantively to
two peers. Do you agree or disagree with their interpretation of correlation and cause?

How strong or weak was their explanation?

PSY 325 WEEK 4 DQ 2 REGRESSION


Week 4 DQ 2 Regression
Explain the relationship between correlation and regression. What do the two
approaches have in common, and how are they different? In what types of research
might one approach be preferred over the other? Explain and justify your response. Be
sure that your discussion refers to both predictor and criterion variables as well as their
role in the regression equation.
Guided Response: Review several of your classmates posts. Respond substantively to
two peers. Do you agree with their analysis of correlation and regression? What might
strengthen their argument?

PSY 325 WEEK 5 DQ 1 CHI-SQUARE GOODNESSOF-FIT TEST


Week 5 DQ 1 Chi-Square Goodness-of-Fit Test
Describe the chi-square goodness-of-fit test. Provide a detailed explanation of what this
test measures, and how it is similar to and different from the independent t-test. How do
you know when to use one analysis over the other? Provide a real-world example.
Guided response: Review your classmates posts and respond to at least two of them.
Compare the real-world example identified by two of your classmates with the one you
selected and respond substantively. Do you agree or disagree with their analysis of
when to use one test over the other?

PSY 325 WEEK 5 DQ 2 CHI-SQUARE TEST OF


INDEPENDENCE
Week 5 DQ 2 Chi-Square Test of Independence
Describe the chi-square test of independence. Give an example of a question that could
be answered using this test. If you were to assemble a contingency table, what would be
included in your rows and columns? Pick a cell of this contingency table and explain
what the value in the cell would represent (you do not need to give the value, just
explain what it would represent)? What hypothesis would be tested? What do you think

the answer would be? Why?


Guided Response: Assess two of your classmates responses. Is the example
appropriate for a chi-square test? Why or why not? Are the variables and their
categories clear? Provide any further comments on the contingency table and the
meaning of the values in the cells.

PSY 325 WEEK 5 ASSIGNMENT FINAL PAPER


Focus of the Final Paper
For your Final Paper you will conduct a research study critique. Utilize the instructorapproved topic that you selected in Week One of the course. Identify three to five
quantitative research studies from peer-reviewed sources which were published within
the last ten years that investigate this topic. Describe the statistical approaches (i.e.,
identify the variables and their type) used in each study and the interpretation of the
results. Finally, present other statistical approaches that could have been used and,
when appropriate, suggest alternative interpretations of the results. This process will
allow you to apply the concepts learned in the course in the interpretation of actual
scientific research.
The three to five quantitative research studies that have been conducted on your chosen
topic must:
1. Have a clearly stated research hypothesis.
2. Utilize inferential statistical tests as part of the research study.
3. Present the results of the statistical analysis.
4. Interpret the results of the statistical analysis.
5. Discuss the implications of the results of the study.

The Final Paper must contain the following sections:


1. Introduction
2. Methods
3. Results
4. Discussion
Introduction
This section will provide a general introduction and review relevant literature to the topic
being studied. The research studies being critiqued will also be introduced in this
section. In the Introduction, the research hypothesis associated with each study should
also be clearly defined.
Methods
In this section, the research method and statistical approaches for each of the studies
being critiqued will be presented. This section should include a discussion of all
statistical tests conducted and other relevant information, such as the
sample size, and any assumptions noted on the part of the researcher. In this section,
the student should describe of all of these factors, and suggest alternatives when they
are appropriate.
Results
In this section, the results of the statistical tests performed in each of these studies
should be presented and critiqued. It is appropriate in this section, to discuss limitations
or to critique the interpretation of the results provided in each study.
Discussion
This section will compare the efficacy of the research studies that are presented on the
topic chosen by the student. The strengths and weaknesses of each study should be
mentioned in this section. Based on these studies, suggest future research directions.
Additional forms of statistical analysis should be included as part of the suggested future
research.

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Entire Course
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