conducting observational research.

Psychology 2010L: Lab 1 – Observation Lab

Due in to Karmen by 4:30 pm on Friday, Oct. 19 for sections A & B and Monday, Oct. 22 for sections C & D

To Be Completed in PARTNERS

The purpose of this lab is to acquaint you with conducting observational research. We want you and a partner to conduct an observational study in which you will examine “extraversion”. You will be required to come up with the question that you will address, operationalize the variables that you will be examining, determine the comparison groups you will examine, set out your hypotheses, decide on the measures you will use, collect the data, analyze the data, and present your results in an APA-style write up. You and your partner will submit only one report between the two of you.

For this lab you must:

1) Come up with your operational definition(s) for “extraversion” and any other important constructs that you investigate. In other words, you must decide how you will define this construct for the purposes of your study and how precisely you will measure it. What behaviours will you observe? You should decide if you want to use frequency, duration, interval, or some combination of measures for coding behaviour. You should also decide if you wish to employ time, event or individual sampling.

2) You must determine where and how you are going to conduct your observations. Both you and your partner will be observing the same individuals in the same place at the same time, in a public location. You are not to interact with or contact the participants in your study (this also means that you cannot send in another person to interact with the participants). Please remember ethical issues when conducting your observations and try to be as unobtrusive as possible to ensure the integrity of your observations. Digital recordings are NOT allowed.

3) Develop coding sheets that allow you to record observations accurately and easily.

4) Derive a testable experimental hypothesis (or hypotheses) for your study.

5) Collect your data. You must observe a minimum of 40 individuals. You must ensure that you have EQUAL numbers of observations in the different groups/conditions you set out.

6) Calculate summary statistics of your data in a way that is appropriate for your question.

7) Calculate a measure of inter-rater reliability.

Once you have obtained all of the above information you should then include it in a full APA-style write up. Your write-up should include the following:

a) Title Page

b) Brief Introduction (max. 1.5 pages)

c) Method

d) Results

e) Discussion (max. 2 pages)

f) References Page

g) Appendices – (you must include the original coding sheets of both partners and the calculations that you performed)

For your brief introduction, we want you to get two research articles related to the topic to provide you with some background, ideas about methodology, and results. You should also briefly describe your study. Make sure that you provide your operational definition for “extraversion” and any other important constructs that you examine, briefly describe the general design of your study, and provide your experimental hypothesis. The introduction is to be brief so it should not exceed 1.5 pages. You must also have full method, results, and discussion sections. Please note that the type of sampling of behaviour (time, event or individual) and coding technique (frequency, duration, interval, a mixture of two) that you are going to use must be described in your Procedure section and your methodology must be explained clearly. In your discussion section, be sure to discuss whether your experimental hypothesis (hypotheses) was/were supported or not. Do your results fit with those of the articles you obtained? Also, make sure to discuss the implications of your findings. Can you think of any limitations to your study? What would you do next?

You must include the PsycINFO printouts of the abstract for each of the articles you used in your introduction.

Don’t forget to include your partner work distribution form to the back of the lab write-up.

Please upload at least the final electronic version of your paper to the Turnitin 2 assignment for the Observation lab that will be on ACORN (you can make multiple submissions if you like but the final version of the paper must be uploaded). You do not need to upload the reference page, the original coding sheets or the PsycINFO printouts in the electronic version you upload. The hard copy of the Observation lab (including the original coding sheets, PsycINFO printouts and partner work distribution form) must be submitted by the due date for this lab, as outlined in the heading for this lab

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