Create a research study proposal (new study – or an existing study with new population) for an experiment in the area of psychology and law. The final product should be anywhere from 5-8 pages, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. Font, not including references. Please use APA publication format.



A) Study Proposal Introduction (35 marks)


Literature review – The purpose of a literature review is to inform the reader of the existing studies and evidence concerning your proposed area of research.  It also sets the groundwork for potential methodologies (how the study was conducted) that you may want to consider when designing your own study procedure.  Good literature reviews usually start by 

1) introducing a topic generally, 

2) then stating some confirmatory evidence of the phenomena to be studied, 

3) then stating some contradictory or ambiguous evidence, 

4) then stating the areas where evidence is lacking, and finally, 

5) stating the general question to be answered with this study and the specific hypotheses to be tested. 

A literature review is NOT a summary of all the articles, rather, it is an introduction discussing the relevant points of studies relevant to your topic. You will be required to have at least four EXPERIMENTAL research papers in your references but there are no upper limits to the number of sources or other types of sources you wish to include.


Predictions – State the general question that your study is trying to answer. Then, state the specific hypotheses or predictions that you have towards the independent variable(s) you are manipulating and the dependant variable(s) you are measuring.



B) Methodology (40 marks)


  1. Participants – List the proposed population you wish to study, the sample size, sampling procedure and any specific characteristics about participants in your study (e.g., all male, all inmates, all hospital diagnosed schizophrenics).


  1. Materials – List all materials you will need to do your study (e.g., anxiety scales, computer programs, access to court records, trial or trial reconstruction video tapes, etc. . .   USE YOUR IMAGINATION!).


  1. Procedure – This section should explicitly state in as much detail as possible how you plan to actually perform the study.  Here you will need a detailed layout of exactly what will happen to a participant from the moment they arrive to the moment they are debriefed about the study before leaving. Detail is important as other researchers may want to try to test your claims and replicate your study if there are interesting results. You may want to include Appendices with scripts of what will be said to participants or examples of what participants will experience (this will not be necessary for all studies).  Try to explain the procedure in a clear and simple way that seems logical and realistic.


C) Discussion (25 marks)


            This should be a brief conclusion to state how you believe the study will turn out, why you believe this will be the case, and what would be interesting about that if it did.  State how you believe the results of your study would be of interest to the population you are examining, other researchers, and the general public. A REFERENCE section should be included at the end (on a separate page) listing all articles, books, and other media used as a resource for the paper.



Professor comments:


Part of what I’m trying to teach and reiterate here is the difference between correlation and experimental studies.


This is a practical assignment, given that anyone who’s going to do research needs to know how to do an ethics proposal and just the exercise of proposing a study in itself has many benefits, whether you’re ever going to do research or an ethics proposal or not, knowing the difference between correlation research and experimental research is important to everybody. Whether you’re in university or not, whether you take psychology or not, whether you’re a scientist or not, because we’re all affected by this, you know the media talks about correlations as if they’re causal all the time.


For example, the media says oh alcohol reduces heart disease. We go alright let’s go buy a case of beer! 


What we know is that in the studies that showed us that are CORRELATIONAL. Okay, so what what’s the problem well, the problem is it had nothing to do with alcohol! It was that, where the study was done in France, people who drink a couple glasses of wine every day also happen to live a healthy lifestyle with healthy whole foods and nothing processed and walk every day and exercise and only work less than 40 hours a week and get more than eight weeks’ vacation and it’s nothing to do with the alcohol because it’s not alcohol, it was red wine and the red wine has the red grape flavonoids and those flavonoids can be taken out and ingested by themselves, without having to drink red wine. In fact, what we can tell you in 2022 is that alcohol is poison. It is the third leading cause of preventable cancers. It causes more damage death and mayhem to society than virtually every illicit drug put together.


Please follow the rubric:


ESSAY FEEDBACK SHEET        Name:  ___________  Grade: _________ %



Introduction               /35              Excellent              Good       OK       Poor   V.Poor/Absent


Introducing Topic                               ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Relevant Background                         ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Providing confirmatory                       ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

& contradictory evidence

Providing lacking evidence                 ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Well-conceptualized Question            ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Adequate Predictions                         ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Appropriate References (min. 4)         ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐         



Methodology  /40


Relevant Participant Info                    ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

i.e. sample size, population, 

sampling procedure [10]


Providing appropriate                         ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Materials i.e. anxiety scales,

Computer programs [10]


Detailed Procedure i.e.                       ☐                     ☐          ☐         ☐        ☐

Specific plan to perform study,

Procedure is logical and 

Realistic [20]


Discussion                   /20


Predicting end results                         ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Relevance/impact of study                 ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Conceptual integration                        ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐

Critical/analytic perspective                ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐


Reference                     /5


Citations                                              ☐                     ☐         ☐         ☐         ☐