PSYCH 018 Index > Survey Research Paper

Survey Research Project

Read everything before doing anything!

This is the second of the two research papers you will be writing in this course. You may not work in groups on this paper; you must each do your own work. The topic must be connected directly to some aspect of psychology. The paper must contain all the parts of a research paper:

Title Page
This must be in APA style. Don’t use the words “A Study of” or “A Survey of” in the title.
A very brief summary of the contents of your article. This should be no more than 150 words (the APA style guide recommends 120).
The introduction gives the background of the problem you are investigating. This is where you summarize previous research in the area. You must have at least two three references in your paper. Don’t go into excessive detail about the references; as the APA guide says, “Assume that the reader is knowledgeable about the basic problem and does not require a complete accounting of its history.” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 28)

After the historical review, explain the purpose of your survey, and give your main hypothesis.

This paper: gives an excellent model for what your methods section should look like. Do not just copy it straight out; modify it for your particular survey. Here is a PDF that shows the method section in a more readable format.
Your results will be mostly in the form of graphs and tables. If a significance test is appropriate, you may do one. In class we will discuss various methods of doing significance tests on ordinal data, or I will provide references for you.
Evaluate your results in light of your hypothesis or hypotheses. Begin with a clear statement of the support or rejetion of your original hypothesis. You may wish to compare your results to previous results in the field.
You must have at least three references from peer-reviewed journals or books. Your references must be in APA style.

You may not, under any circumstances, use any paper by Milgram, Skinner, Zimbardo, Asch, Festinger, or Bandura as a reference, nor may they be the topic of your reference.


Topic Approval
You must get the instructor’s approval for the topic of your survey. Know what the title of your paper will be, what your independent and dependent variables are, and how you intend to measure the dependent variable. If you do not get approval, your score for the paper will be zero.
Creating the Survey
Before the Peer Review, you must write the survey introduction, exit page, and questions. The survey introduction gives information about the mechanics of the survey (what will be asked, what the survey-taker is expected to do). It does not tell the participant what you are attempting to study. The introduction also gives privacy and contact information, and any risks and benefits of the study.

The exit page is the place to tell the participant the purpose of the survey. You may give references to related studies, or to the field in general. Again, put contact information on this page. Make sure you thank the participants for their time. Here is an example of what a survey introduction and exit page might look like.

Make sure your questions cover the topic you are assessing, and avoid the pitfalls discussed in the book and in class. You may find the survey peer review form useful in this regard. You will look at the other person’s questionnaire on the pre-review date.

Peer Review
Another student will assess your paper using this review form, and return the assessment to me on the day of the review.
Presentations / Final Version
Presentations will start on 16 Dec 2014. Presentations must a minimum of three minutes and a maximum of five minutes. Each presentation will be followed by a maximum of five minutes of discussion. We will use lab time during those class sessions if necessary. Your presentation will be graded according to this scale (PDF version). I will assess a 10% penalty for reading slides out loud.
Final Version of Paper
The final version of the paper is due on 18 Dec 2014 and will be graded according to this form. I will also assess the following additional penalties:
Error Penalty
Citation of direct quote without page number 2%
Incorrect citation format


Incorrect heading


Incorrect reference format (penalty depends on
how severe the error is)

Up to 8%

Use of MLA format in reference


Incorrect page break


These penalties are for each occurrence, so if you have three incorrect citations, you lose 15%. If you have two incorrect page breaks, you lose 4%.

Name your file in the form surveynnnn.docx, where nnnn is your four-digit number, and upload it to Moodle. Also, upload the spreadsheet you used with SOFA statistics in order to calculate your results.


American Psychological Association (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) Washington, DC: Author.

Here are two surveys from previous semesters.