B. Explain how the claims made by the authors of the studies presented in your chosen track would logically inform future research into your identified gap. C. Explain the benefit of the research you have proposed to the field of psychology. This is my research design worksheet that use can use to answer the three questions pertaining to this assignment. Research Design Worksheet Citation of Literature Mattson, S. N., Calarco, K. E., & Lang, A. R. (2006). Focused and shifting attention in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Neuropsychology, 20(3), 361. Gap Identification The study examines how to improve executive functioning among children exposed to heavy prenatal alcohol. Evidence suggests that substantial prenatal alcohol exposure causes alterations to the developing brain (Mattson, Calarco, & Lang, 2006). The resultant neurobehavioral deficits that stem from prenatal alcohol exposure are wide-ranging and possibly devastating, making them a significant concern. Yet, even with increasing evidence of the disturbing impacts of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure, there have been few or no attempts to examine the possibility of improving executive functioning among affected children. Research Question Can executive functioning in children exposed to heavy prenatal alcohol be improved using self-regulation as a therapy? Research Design The study will primarily be quantitative. The quantitative design is chosen for it offers the study the opportunity to work with quantitative data from which inferences can be drawn. In the study, executive functioning will be the independent variable whose outcomes will be measured following exposure to the intervention. As such, the self-regulation intervention will serve as the dependent variable. The study population would include children exposed to heavy prenatal alcohol. However, the sample will be reduced to children currently suffering from clinically diagnosed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. To ensure that only children that meet this criterion are included in the study, maternal records will be consulted to determine proof of heavy maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The children will be between the age of 8 and twelve, and from both sexes to reduce instances of bias and increase the generalizability of the findings established. Participant recruitment will be through invitation emails sent to parents of children that meet the inclusion criteria. Issue of Ethics A study that entails the use of children prompts several ethical concerns that have to be sorted out by the researcher. With respect to this study, the research will be carried out only after getting the necessary approval from the university ethics committee. Moreover, respondent participation will be voluntary and only after signing an informed consent form. The consent will assure participants their safety and explain to them their right to excuse themselves from the study any time they wish. ? Citation of Literature Sirin, S. R. (2005). Socioeconomic status and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research. Review of educational research, 75(3), 417-453. Gap Identification The study will attempt to examine how a child’s socioeconomic background affects learning outcomes. In particular, the study will center on examining how performance in STEM subjects is affected by the child’s socio-economic status. The fact that academic achievement is affected by socioeconomic factors is well addressed in the literature. Generally, studies agree that upon controlling for other factors that affect learning, children from poor socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to perform better (Sirin, 2005). However, one observes a death of literature that has specifically examined how socioeconomic factors affect academic achievement in specific disciplines. The bulk of the literature has examined the topic from a general perspective and thus ignoring the possibility of socioeconomic factors having different effects in a given discipline. This study will be unique for it shifts its focus to an area that is largely unexplored in the literature. Research Question To what extent does a learners socioeconomic background determine performance in STEM disciplines? Research Design Data for the study will be collected from both survey questionnaires and student test scores in STEM disciplines. As such, the study will be quantitative and will seek to determine whether there exists a correlation between performance in STEM disciplines and socioeconomic background. A child’s socioeconomic background will serve as the independent variable while the test scores in STEM disciplines will serve as the dependent variable. Study participants will be recruited from a local public high school which hosts children from various socioeconomic backgrounds. This will enable the study to compare performance in STEM subjects between children from deprived and privileged backgrounds. Students will be classified as either from deprived backgrounds and privileged backgrounds based on household income information available from school records. This information will then be corroborated with data collected from the childrens parents on several socioeconomic factors such as occupation, level of education, and race. The students will then be administered tests on the four STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and comparisons drawn to determine statistical differences between the two groups. Ethical Issues The study will limit interacting with children as much as possible. As such, data on socioeconomic backgrounds will be based on school records and information provided by the students parents. This measure is taken to avoid the ethical issues associated with the use of children in research. ? Citation of Literature Chernyshenko, O. S., Stark, S., Drasgow, F., & Roberts, B. W. (2007). Constructing personality scales under the assumptions of an ideal point response process: Toward increasing the flexibility of personality measures. Psychological Assessment, 19(1), 88. Gap Identification This study will center on examining the effectiveness of personality scales/assessments (Big Five) in determining performance among leaners. Existing studies have primarily employed the Big Five personality factors in predicting personality, and in so doing ignored to examine whether personality trait assessments could also be used in predicting performance. Research Question To what extent can personality trait assessments effectively predict performance among learners? Research Design The study would be designed as a correlation design with analysis of regression. The target population would include male and female junior students of a local college. Out of this population, a representative sample of students will be randomly be selected to partake in the study. Random selection is necessary to both reduce bias and ensure equal chances of inclusion in the study by every respondent. The sample size would depend on the size of the population such that a large population would necessitate a large sample size. Personality traits would be measured using established instruments such as the NEO Five-Factor Inventory, a 60-item inventory that scores on a 5-degree Likert scale (Chernyshenko et al., 2007). The tool is useful in measuring an individual’s Big Five personality traits (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). The results from the NEO Five-Factor Inventory will then be compared with a self-reported total mean of semesters for the students. The self-reported semester means will be used as the measure of academic achievement and will thus serve as the dependent variables in the study. Ethical Issues Several measures will be put in place to reduce instances of bias and ensure the safety of the respondents. Foremost, the respondents will be assured of the privacy of the information they share. Moreover, respondents will be assured that it is only the researcher will access the data collected and that the primary data will be shredded at the end of the study. The signed informed consent forms will inform them that the data collected will purely b used for research purposes and would thus not affect their academic performance. This will help ensure that the respondents desist from falsifying information.
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