Research Methods And Statistics In Psychology

Discussion: Reading & Designing Research Assignment Instructions


Research is how a field advances its practices, particularly in applied psychology. This Discussion: Reading & Designing Research Assignment will allow you to explore the practicality of reading research and applying it to your area of interest within psychology. This Discussion: Reading & Designing Research Assignment aims to help you develop skills related to reading empirical research and developing your own hypothesis and research study. It also provides practice in sharing professional research findings and developing networks with colleagues.

You will need to locate and read two peer-reviewed articles based on key terms you’ve selected from the Reading and Designing Research Topic Assignment Instructions before composing your thread for this week’s Discussion. Don’t forget to cite in APA style format within your thread and include a reference section at the end for all cited works (note you must have at least two articles)! Also remember – do not use quotes – you should present information in your own words using graduate level writing skills and discipline-specific terms as covered in the course.

Instructions: Thread

If there is a specific end goal or area of interest you want to pursue with this degree, use that as inspiration. Otherwise, you can pick one of the topics provided below or come up with one of your own. (Note: It helps to have at least two key terms when searching for a relevant article – but you may want to refine your focus even more. For instance, you can focus on a specific age group, gender, geographic region, religious group, or occupation.)

Topic Suggestions:

  • Friendships in the workplace on productivity or job satisfaction
  • Comparison of job / relationship / educational satisfaction among groups (e.g., gender, religion, political view, et cet)
  • PTSD and life or job satisfaction
  • Stress, anxiety, or motivation and academic performance
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ADHD, anxiety, et cet) and friendship
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ADHD, anxiety, et cet) and education
  • Religious views and workplace conflict
  1. Complete background work by selecting a topic and reading two recent articles.
    1. Pick a topic containing at least TWO key terms, like the topics suggested above. Use the Jerry Falwell Library to locate two empirical articles from peer-reviewed journals containing both key terms. You may need to log in to have complete access.
      1. Try to only use research published within the last year (but definitely limit to within the last 5 years).
      2. Both articles must be from peer-reviewed sources and must be empirical to complete this assignment (remember from Module 1, an empirical article is an original research study so it will have method and results sections).
  • Read the articles.
  1. Compose a professional letter to a potential colleague to make him or her aware of these recent findings.
    1. For each article, state the research question, sample size, variables of interest, statistical test used to examine the research question(s), and the conclusions. Make sure to use parenthetical or narrative citations within your letter using APA conventions.
      1. Note you cannot quote from the articles you selected – you must put information into your own words for this entire assignment. “Rephrasing” is switching out a few words. This is insufficient at the graduate level and as a professional. You need to be able to read research and present it using your own language, to demonstrate you truly understand how to read a research article.
    2. Discuss how the articles work together to strengthen your understanding of the topic you’ve selected personally and/or professionally, OR why you think their results are contradictory.
  2. Include a reference section at the end in current APA style for all citations (minimum of 2 entries).

Your discussion thread must be at least 400 words.

Instructions: Replies

Reply to two of your classmates’ discussion threads.

  • No quotes are allowed – paraphrase, put information into your own words, and cite appropriately using current APA formatting conventions.
  • Address all required components for maximum points.
  • Your two replies must be 200 words each.


Respond to each post as if you were a colleague suggesting a related study you could complete together. Make sure to include all following components:

  • Full description of a proposed study that extends or refines one or both of the reviewed studies. Identify your unique proposed study as being descriptive, predictive, or experimental.
    1. Clearly identify and operationally define the variable(s) of interest in your proposed study.
    2. Clearly state how your proposed study would extend or refine the results from one or both of the reviewed articles.
    3. Review one additional article to justify your proposed study. It cannot be one that was reviewed by your peer.
  • Include a complete reference section at the end of your reply using current APA style format (minimum of 1 entry).


All replies must incorporate at least 1 in-text citation to the APA Publication Manual and then a Reference section. Replies to your peers should be thoughtful, educated, and professional. Avoid unsubstantiated opinions or claims, personal comments, or general comments such as the following, which will result in loss of points:

  • “Great job on your introduction / discussion post,”
  • “I totally agree with everything you said,”
  • “Good luck in the rest of the class,” etc.


Make sure to check the Discussion Grading Rubric before beginning this Discussion: Reading & Designing Research Assignment.

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