location — neighborhood versus busy arterial road versus H u m a n i t i e s
OBSERVATIONAL STUDY MODIFIED: PSYC 321
In light of the current social distancing guidelines issued by the CDC, the final applied project for this class, the observational study, has to be modified. You will still be drafting a write-up, but you will NOT collect any data. Therefore, instead of a research paper write-up, you will be drafting an observational study proposal. The following sections should be in your proposal:
- Introduction – this section should include a literature review incorporating at least 5 professional references; primary references are required, meaning they must be from professional journal articles. This section should end with a brief listing of your hypotheses.
- Method – this is the section where you will detail exactly what you would plan to do if you were to collect the data. This section should have two sub-sections: one on population and one on the procedure. You need to include enough detail in the method that anyone reading it could follow your directions and replicate your study down to the smallest detail.
- Anticipated Results – In this section, you should list your hypotheses again in more detail. And then elaborate a bit on what you expect to find and why. Make sure your literature review supports your hypotheses.
- Conclusion – just a brief conclusion to the proposal
- Reference Page
Observational Study Topics
Your applied final project for this class is an observational study. But, remember, an observational study is just that—observations only! You are not allowed to interact with your participants at all, but you are to draw your conclusions based on observations alone. Following is a list of approved topics. You must select your topic from this list unless you have made arrangements with me to pursue another topic of your choice.
- Consumer Behavior-make your observations at a grocery store. Compare male versus female shopping behavior. You can focus on time spent shopping, type of products purchased, type of line selected for checkout (self-checkout vs. 10 items or less vs. regular line), or grocery cart behavior—who returns their cart to the depot or front of the store—males vs. females.
- Cell phone and driving behavior—stand at an intersection and do observations on drivers and cell phone use. Who is using a cell phone while driving? Be sure to check the cell phone law for your state with this link http:// one of the following conditions:
- 1) Males versus females
- 2) Younger drivers versus older drivers
- 3) Location—neighborhood versus busy arterial road versus a parking lot
- 4) Day of week and time—vary the time and day of the week for the observations to see if they have an impact on # of drivers using cell phones.
- 5) Compare different States that have different laws. For example, both DC and Maryland have a primary law banning handheld cell phone use while driving, but Virginia does not. This one would require collecting data in all three states/jurisdictions.
- Jaywalkers—who jaywalks and who crosses roads according to the law using crosswalks and signals? Males vs. females? Old vs. young? Adults with and without children? Also, consider car behavior. Which types of cars stop at the crosswalk when pedestrians are present, and which ones try to “race” the pedestrians?
- Safety Belt Use—who uses their seatbelt and who doesn’t?Compare ages? Males vs. females? Environments?