Generate a research question
To test a belief, you must first formally state that belief. For each hypothesis assignment, you will:
1) Generate a research question
2) Identify two variables that you might compare to test that question.
3) Predict how those two variables are related.
4) Justify your prediction.
Each assignment should be 4 sentences in length. No longer; no shorter. The following describes how to write each sentence:
Sentence 1. State your research question. This should be a question that you have about the world around you. It should be related to psychology and how the mind works.
Example: “If someone in an exclusive romantic relationship is constantly trading snaps (via Snapchat) with someone, are they likely to cheat on their current partner with that person?”
Sentence 2. Break your question into two variables. In chapter 2, we will learn about independent and dependent variables, and how to operationally define each (i.e., state how you plan to measure them). In this second sentence, you must identify and operationally define your independent and dependent variables.
In the example research question above, the two variables are:
How often does someone trade snaps with someone else?
How likely is that person to cheat on their partner?
Next, we need to operationally define these variables. How would you measure each variable? There are MANY viable ways to do this. Some examples:
Record the number of snaps they send to someone within a week
Record how many romantic or sexually intimate conversations they have with that person.
Example: “To test this question, I would measure 1) the number of snaps a person sends someone within a week and 2) the number of romantic or sexually intimate conversations they have with that person.”
Sentence 3. Make a tentative statement about the relationship between these two variables. Ask yourself: what do I believe is the answer to this question? You might believe that “Yes, if you trade more snaps, you’ll have more romantic or sexually intimate conversations.” State this belief using the operationally defined variables that you just identified. DO NOT be vague. You must commit to a specific, directional prediction.
Example: “I predict that who send more snaps to someone will have more romantic or sexually intimate conversations with that person.”
Sentence 4. Provide a brief justification of your prediction. Why do you believe that your prediction is true? If possible, use material from class to support this justification.
Example: “I believe that people who trade a lot of snaps may be doing so to discretely flirt with one another and therefore will be more likely to have intimate conversations that their partner might consider infidelity.”
Answer preview to generate a research question