A 5-page research paper on a developmental issue (due 10/25). The paper will comprise 10% of the final grade. No late papers will be accepted.

Choose a developmental issue, mentioned in the textbook that is of interest to you. For example, mirror recognition, autism, diabetes, spina bifida, drug abuse, elderspeak…so many to choose from! The more interesting the topic is for you, the easier it will be for you to write.

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Start by finding at least 3-5 scholarly peer-reviewed articles on your topic. Read them carefully. You may not understand everything in the article, and that’s okay, but you should be able to get the main idea, and it may spark some inspiration.

For your paper, imagine that you are a developmental psychologist researching your topic. Come up with a hypothesis and design an experiment to test your hypothesis. You can investigate causes of a disorder or potential treatments, etc. Keep it simple and focus on one independent variable. Write up your experiment as if you were submitting to a scholarly journal.

Include the following sections:

Introduction- Background on your topic: definition and brief overview of research that has been done on the issue. What is your hypothesis? Clearly describe what your independent and dependent variables will be.

Methods- How will you conduct your research? Include details. For example, how many research participants will you use and where will you recruit them from?

Results- You are not actually going to conduct your experiment. Here you will report what you would expect to find if your experiment went the way you think it will. Include at least one graph (created by you) of your expected results. Do not copy the graph from another source.

Discussion- Sum up what you expected to find in your experiment. Tell me how this information might fit into, or expand upon, previous research that has been done on your topic. Something else required in this section are potential confounds…is there anything that you can think of that might interfere with your results?

References- In this section list the reference articles that you used (at least 3-5) and be sure to use APA style.

In this assignment you are looking to test the validity of your hypothesis, so you would not be using a case study or survey. Look carefully at the grading rubric and be sure to answer the questions posed for each section. Keep in mind that you are limited to five pages. No abstract is needed, but do include a title page (this will not count towards your page limit).


Introduction: _________/20 points

____ Developmental issue clearly stated

____ Previous research used to describe

background on topic

____ /____ /____ At least (3) Peer-reviewed journal articles with appropriate APA-style in-text citations. Sources paraphrased and/or quotations used sparingly

____ Hypothesis

____ IV correctly identified

____ DV correctly identified

____ Proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling used throughout paper

Method: _________/20 points

____ Section labeled appropriately

____ Describe participants (include details such as number, average age, SES, gender, etc.)

____ Where recruited

____ How recruited

____ Incentive

____ Describes materials if used including examples as appropriate

____ Procedure clearly outlined

____ Information with enough detail to enable replication of the study

Results: _________/20 points

____ Section labeled appropriately

____ Clear, concise description of anticipated findings

____ Effect of IV on DV

____ Graph

____ Created by the student

____ X and Y axis labeled

____ Representation of data makes logical sense and follows from the in-text description

Discussion: _________/20 points

____ Section labeled appropriately

____ Summarizes the results

____ Relates results back to the original hypothesis (support or fail to support)

____ Compares results to previous research (references)

____ Offers plausible explanation for the outcome

____ Identifies potential confounds (problems with the study)

____ Suggests ideas for future research

References: _________/20 points

____ Appears on a separate page and is labeled appropriately

____ At least 3 peer-reviewed journal articles

____ Presented in alphabetical order by 1st author’s last name

____ Indented appropriately

____ APA format

____ Contains only sources cited in the text

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