Environmental Psychology Research Proposal

Empirical research is crucial to understanding human cognition, feelings, and behavior in the context of environmental psychology. To further your understanding of the complexities of the interaction between humans and the natural and built environments, you will complete a brief examination of past research on a specific topic of your choice, develop a research question and hypothesis, plan the method of the study (study design), and expected results for a study that could be conducted. You will not actually run the study, as this is a research proposal. In addition to writing your short proposal, you will present your proposal to the class. You will specify an environmental problem that interests you, locally or globally. Consider psychological concepts that we have discussed that you could further examine such as attitudes, values, personality, identity, intentions, etc. and their effects on environmental attitudes and behaviors. You can propose a research design to learn more about how people think about and react to a problem (basic science) or an intervention to help solve a problem (applied science), using laboratory, survey, field study designs, etc. In the beginning of your proposal you should describe and apply theories and findings from environmental psychology that we have discussed. This past research can help you make your argument about why your current study is important and should be conducted. Instead of a broad literature review that you may complete in other classes, for this proposal you will only cite literature in service of the specific problem you are addressing. Therefore, you must be very succinct in your words and be clear about why the previous research you are citing is connected to your current study. STEPS IN THE PROCESS: 1. Research background on your topic; you must have at least 3 peer-reviewed articles as sources. Pick an area of environmental psychology that you find the most interesting. Within the area you choose, decide on a more specific topic. Begin preliminary research to see what kind of studies have been done on the specific topic. Things to think about: What types of studies/experiments have other psychologists done on the topic? What findings would you like to test further? In your proposal, you will give some background behind your study– what topic you are exploring, others’ theories in general, and other studies previously conducted. For each source, you must provide the correct citation in APA and correctly make it clear why this previous research is relevant to your research question. (You will complete in-text citations in your proposal, along with full references in APA format in your Reference section). 2. Determine what your research question is and what the hypothesis (or hypotheses) will be. Once you have a topic and an idea, you will be able to move on to the next step which is designing your study. You should have at least 1 research question and 1 hypothesis (if you have more that is fine). Examples of hypotheses: Individuals are less likely to pick up litter on the street if they are alone than if they are with 2 or more people. Individuals are more likely to allow a stranger to cut in front of them in line if a polite request is made rather than no request at all. 3. Design your study method and come up with your exact procedure. Things to include:  Information about your participants (demographics, how will you recruit them?)  Procedures (what, where, when, how variables are measured)  Measures you will use (you can use previously validated measures and/or develop on your own)  How will your study be carried out? It should be clear enough to someone reading this section that they could repeat what you did. You need to specify 1) what kind of method you plan to use (i.e., experiment, field experiment, only survey, etc.). Then, you need to specify your variables. If you are planning an experiment, you must indicate what your independent and dependent variables. In addition, you should mention how to plan to operationalize your variables (in simple terms). For instance, if you want to manipulate being in nature, you could say something like this: “Exposure to nature was one independent variable with two levels (walking in a National Park for 30 minutes vs. walking in an Urban park for 30 minutes).” The example sentence stated what the independent variable was (exposure to nature) and how it was operationalized (walking in nature vs. urban setting for 30 minutes). 4. Expected Results & Implications What do you anticipate the results will show? To help, you can show predicted results in a table and/or graph. You don’t have to worry about looking up statistical tests you are not familiar with; use what you know! You should also briefly discuss: How will this research impact the real-world? FORMATTING YOUR WRITTEN PROPOSAL Your final written proposal must be 1-2 pages (including references), single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins. Max. 1000 words not including references in APA format. Do not include a title page, abstract, or results section. You may use section headers if you prefer. The discussion should address the implications of the expected findings and could explore competing explanations, not restate the hypotheses. REVISION PROCESS We will work together through the revision and the final presentation. You will revise your proposal based on my feedback and from feedback from a class per. In a separate document, you will explain how you addressed my feedback. Max 1200 words.

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