Describing a Research Problem

Describing a Research Problem

Review the Theories and Assumptions activity (link in Resources area) in preparation for this assignment. You will need to locate one primary research article that explicitly identifies a theory that drives the study.

The article must be from a peer-reviewed journal similar to the list of journals that are specified on the Scientific Merit Review Form and in this assignment.

Refer to the Describing a Research Problem Scoring Guide in preparation for the assignment and to identify the grading criteria.

In this assessment you will demonstrate your ability to draw a direct link between what is known in the scholarly literature and the gaps in the literature and the development of your own research problem. To simulate how you will do this in your dissertation process, you will use the Research Plan/Scientific Merit Review Form to record your thinking process.

Complete the following for this assignment:

  1. Describe the Scientific Problem. In one paragraph, describe the scientific problem. This paragraph goes beyond the social problem to express the scientific problem. Think about it in these terms: We know X from the literature, we also know Y, but we do not know Z, and that is why this study’s research question is important. You will record this paragraph in section 2.1 on the Research Plan/Scientific Merit Review Form.
  2. Describe how this research will advance scientific knowledge in your specialization area. Answer the three questions in section 2.2 of the Research Plan/Scientific Merit Review Form using bullet points and in-text citations.
  3. How is this study new or different from other studies? Does the study address something that is not known or has not been studied before?
  4. So what? How did the findings impact that field of interest?
  5. Who cares? What possible practical implications do the authors predict the results of their research will have? For instance, what will be the impact of these results on the sample, the site location, or the workplace?
  6. Compose your research question(s). Compose two different research questions reflecting two different theories based on your topic. Like the examples found in the Theories and Assumptions activity, these two new questions should change to reflect the two new theories. For example, when using a different theory, should the author have measured a different variable? Remember, a theory helps the researcher predict what they expect to find. Record your questions in section 2.5 of the Research Plan/Scientific Merit Review Form.

For example, for the topic of why women stay with abusive men, applying a theory of Social Modeling means that you would predict those women who saw their father abuse their mother and the mother stayed in the abusive relationship, are more likely to model that behavior in their own relations with their spouse or partner.

  • Research Question Example: For women who have experienced an abusive relationship, is there a correlation between the amount of time they stayed in an abusive relationship and amount of time of their mother stayed in an abusive relationship?

For the same topic, if you apply Coping Theory, you would predict that women who stay with abusive men are more likely to use cognitive reframing to enhance the positive aspects of the relationship with the spouse or partner.

  • Research Question Example: For women who have experienced an abusive relationship, is there a correlation between the amount of time they stayed in an abusive relationship and their score on the cognitive reframing scale?

Note: All assignments are expected to follow APA guidelines for style and formatting, and to include appropriate cit


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