Assignment 2 Research Proposal

Assignment 2 Research Proposal


The Research Proposal

This document contains everything you need to know for your second assignment.

Please make sure to read this in full prior to asking any questions on Moodle.

Below are the key things covered and the corresponding page numbers for easy access.

Assignment 2 Research Proposal Details                                                           2

Helpful Resources                                                                                                 7

Marking Criteria                                                                                                  8

FAQs                                                                                                                    10

Research Proposal Template                                                                             14

Assignment 2 Research Proposal Details

This is a major written task for the unit (worth 40% of your final grade). You will use the feedback from your plan (assignment 1) to start writing the background for your 2500 word research proposal based on your chosen topic. As this assignment is a proposal you do not need to conduct the research itself, just propose how you plan to conduct the research, why it’s an important area of research, and what the expected findings would be based on previous literature.

What is a research proposal?

A research proposal is a document proposing an outline of a new research project and its potential value to society and contribution to the body of knowledge in science. Research proposals are used commonly by academics and scientists to apply for funding for research projects from government or non-government funding bodies. Writing a research proposal is a critical real-world skill that all scientists or future clinicians who follow the

scientist-practitioner approach should have. Proposals (like your assignment) are primarily evaluated on the potential social and scientific impact of the proposed research, and the feasibility of the proposed plan if and when it’s carried out.

How do I complete the assignment?

Step 1: Choose one of the following topics:

  • Ideally, continue with the topic you detailed in assignment 1
  • If the topic or content you chose for assignment 1 is no longer appropriate, you can

choose another topic (you can discuss this with your tutor, or take on their feedback in your assignment)

●      Social Psychology

  • The classic social psychology experiments demonstrated that others’ opinions and behaviours can significantly influence our own behaviour, making us act outside of our beliefs and personalities. Has Social Psychology demonstrated that we can be completely influenced by peer or social pressure?
    • Design an original study to demonstrate whether others’ opinions, behaviours, and social pressure can actually influence our own judgment and

decision-making. How do your proposed findings have an application to the real world? Be sure to develop a study that is ethically feasible.

  • Starting Reference: Mtemeri, J. (2020). Peer pressure as a predictor of career decision-making among high school students in Midlands Province, Zimbabwe. Global Journal of Guidance and Counselling in Schools: Current Perspectives, 10(3), 120–131

●      Sensation & Perception

  • In order to make sense of incoming visual stimuli, the brain has been found to rely on previous knowledge and expectations about what the world should look like. Put simply, your brain applies what it knows to fill in the blanks and anticipate what’s next. A number of external factors influence the accuracy of processing visual stimuli. These outside factors include colour, motion and

shape of the stimuli, the amount of light that hits your eye and prior exposure to other visual stimuli, sound/music and psychological states.

  • Design an original study to demonstrate understanding of how the accuracy of processing visual stimuli can be influenced by any one external factor that can provide additional support to an existing theory on visual processing in the brain. How do your proposed findings have an application to the real world? Be sure to develop a study that is ethically feasible.
    • Starting Reference: Jolij, J., & Meurs, M. (2011). Music alters visual perception. PloS one, 6(4), e18861.

●      Personality

  • Intolerance of uncertainty (IoU) or tolerance (or intolerance) of ambiguity (ToA) are relatively new personality dimensions that are associated with

several psychopathological symptoms typical of anxiety and depression.

However, the factors determining tolerance or intolerance of uncertainty/ambiguity as a personality trait are still unknown, although how much we worry, intelligence and the length/quality of education have been found to influence IoU.

  • Design an original study that investigates any variable that will help predict levels of IoU or ToA in a sample of adults. How do your proposed findings have an application to the real world? Be sure to develop a study that is

ethically feasible.

  • Starting Reference: Sternheim, L. C., Fisher, M., Harrison, A., & Watling, R. (2017). Predicting intolerance of uncertainty in individuals with eating disorder symptoms. Journal of eating disorders, 5, 26.

Step 2: Write a 2500 word research proposal on your chosen topic

The proposal should include the following:

  • Title & Title Page: A clear and succinct title should be provided that reflects the main topic and relationship between the variables (IV and DV or predictor and

criterion variables) in the proposed study. Title page includes all key information (word count, tutor name, etc.).

  • Abstract: The abstract is a summary of each of the main sections of the proposal. It

should ideally be written last. It should state the main background, aim and hypothesis

of the proposed study, mention the proposed participants and an overview of what they would be asked to do (e.g., any measures you would request them to complete) and lastly, include the practical or theoretical implications of the study assuming that the hypothesis is supported.

  • Introduction: The introduction should introduce the topic area and provide key background information and rationale for the research proposal aims and hypotheses.
    • Use your information and arguments from Assignment 1 to guide you in writing this section of the proposal.
    • Introductory paragraph should give a broad overview of the topic with a rationale for the importance of researching the topic (broad rationale for the importance of the topic area).
    • Further paragraphs should review, compare and contrast key papers succinctly (i.e., evidence of synthesis of past research; around five references or more).
    • Gaps and limitations in previous research should be identified (i.e., evidence of critical evaluation).
    • The aim included should follow logically from Introduction and address a gap or limitation of previous research (written in future tense).
    • Lastly, a hypothesis should be provided for the research proposal operationalized and directional, with independent and dependent variables or predictor and criterion variables clearly specified (written in future tense).
  • Method: The Method should clearly and concisely describe the proposed Participants, Design, Materials and Procedure, and should pay attention to the ethical standards required of research performed at Monash University.
  • Participants subsection included which outlines: Who the proposed participants are (e.g., sample size, age, gender); where the participants will be recruited from (e.g., Monash University or elsewhere); and the sampling method used (e.g., convenience sampling).
  • Design subsection included which describes (in operationalized form): what the dependent and independent variables are (or predictor and criterion variables for a correlational study); if groups will be compared, also states the levels of the independent variable and whether the design is between-subjects (i.e., independent-measures) or within-subjects (i.e., repeated-measures).
  • Materials subsection included which describes how you will measure your variables based on the design – e.g., any tests used and how they will be

scored for each group. Each instrument should describe what modality the instrument measures (nominal, interval or ratio), what range of scores it measures (and what a high or low score represents), and finally how the final score represents the sample scores (e.g. the calculated mean responses, the

sum of responses). It should also include evidence of reliability and validity of the instrument as per the sample proposal. This section should not include

things like a computer, paper, pen, etc.

  • Procedure subsection included which displays awareness of ethical issues, and details: whether participants will be naïve with regards to the study’s

purpose; (if relevant) how participants will be assigned to different conditions; an what exactly participants will be requested to do (i.e., provides sufficient detail for someone else to replicate the study without including too much detail).

  • Expected Outcomes and Implications: Summarises what the expected results are if the hypothesis is supported and if it’s not supported with discussion and reference to previous literature. These potential findings should be interpreted with regard to both theoretical and methodological explanations; key limitations should be raised, and future research recommended. This section should close with a statement about the broader implications of the study.
    • Restatement of the aim provided
    • Statement given of expected findings (i.e., results) and how these relate to the hypothesis, e.g. “If the hypothesis is supported X group will score higher than Y group on A, if it’s not supported, X and Y will score similarly”.
    • Addresses two key questions (Mitchell & Jolley, 2010): 1. “What would be the implications for interpreting existing theory and research if your hypothesis is supported?” 2. “What would be the implications if the results don’t support your hypothesis?” (p. 560). How might you be able to explain the findings in

either case with regards to the literature? (Note: you should not reference limitations of your study here when discussing null results, instead discuss why the results might not be as expected before discussing limitations).

  • Mentions and explains (with evidence) potential limitations of the study
    • Suggests improvements or extensions of the study (i.e., future research directions)
    • Discusses the practical (i.e., real-world) implications of the study
  • You should be referencing relevant sources (at least 7 sources total) throughout your proposal. You should use APA 7th referencing.

Step 3: Submit your Proposal

After you have written your assignment, you should follow the submission guidelines and instructions available on Moodle and at the end of this document and below.

For assignment 2 you will need to generate a Turnitin report as part of your submission process..

  • When uploading your assignment, click ‘Add’ to find & upload your file.
  • Click on ‘Save Changes’. Wait for the turnitin status to be generated. If the similarity percentage is high (>15%), you can edit your submission and upload another file.
  • First year students are able to submit unlimited times till before the due date and time.
    • There is not a strict TurnItIn score that we are concerned about, but we will take it on a case-by-case basis. <15% is probably safe though.
    • If it highlights things like your reference list and the Title Page please do not be concerned, we will not consider this in our assessment.
  • NOTE: Turnitin can take up to 24h to generate a second report. Try and submit as early as possible to ensure that you can check the report prior to confirming the


  • If it doesn’t generate your report prior to the submission cut-off and you are confident that you have not plagiarised your work, submit your work and the report will be generated automatically before your tutor marks your assignment.
    • Failure to submit on time, even if the TurnItIn report has not been generated, will be considered as a late submission.
  • Once you are happy with the assignment and turnitin status, click on ‘Submit

Assignment’. Accept the embedded Monash University plagiarism and collusion statement.

  • Click on ‘Continue’. Your assignment is now submitted and no further changes possible.

Download the Assignment 2 template to use for your assignment.

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