Monitor on Psychology

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Monitor on Psychology

  PART 1- Submitting your manuscript –  Research procedures for submitting a manuscript for a specific journal. Discuss your findings with your team.


The Culture of Shock See Article In Resources

Milgram’s and Zimbardo’s studies have gained a resurgence of interest. Can you think of recent events that might have caused this? I have attached an article from Scientific American. I apologize that it is upside down and you will have to print it to read it.

Also, my most recent issue of Monitor on Psychology there is a short review on Milgram Redux. Researchers from Poland (we couldn’t get this approved in the US) replicated the study and found the same results – 90% of participants were willing to administer the highest shock level

Let me know what you think and how Milgram’s and Zimbardo’s studies might still find some applicability today.

RESOURCE for this assignment

For most people, the nightmare of the Holocaust was a gross pathology, a social sickness brought about by specific circumstances: the brutality of the Naziregime or certain traits in the German character. But in the 1960s, a young American psychologist,Stanley Milgram, had a different theory.

Rather than being pathological,supposing the concentration camps were just an example of normal behavior in extreme circumstances?
– What he was particularly interested in was,under what conditions will people follow instructions which will result in harm to somebody else, in suffering to somebody else?
And beyond that,he was interested in whether the responses to instructions to do harm,the pressure to obey are normal,whether normal people,any average person,would respond.
– To test these theories, Milgram devised a series of experiments, experiments that were to change the face of psychological research forever.
Imagine you’re one of Milgram’s volunteers.

You’ve answered an a din the paper to take part in a psychological experiment.
You’re told it’s about testing whether giving mild punishments in the form of electrics hocks will improve the memory of the subject.
You find yourself playing the role of teacher,and you’re introduced to someone you’re told is the learner.
– The learner was then subjected to electric shocks every time they made a mistake in the learning process.
And because it appeared they weren’t very smart, the instructions required that you keep increasing the level of shock.
So each time the learner made a mistake,the shock level had to rise.
And potentially,it could go up to, apparently,450 volts.
– And the question was how far they would go up the scale, how far they would respond to the screams and the ultimately the silence of the person that was listening to– who was answering the questions.
– Every time they expressed some reluctance about carrying on,the experiment would say,”No, the instructions require that you continue.” So Milgram was interested to see how far people would go under those circumstances.
At what point would they say, “No, I’m not going to give any more electric shocks.
I’m not going to increase the voltage.” – So how far do you think you’d have gone if you’d have been a teacher Perhaps further than you think.

The results of these experiments surprised even Milgram and his research team.
– He asked a large number of students and psychiatrists before the research took place,how far did they think the participants would go?
And the average was about 120,150 volts.
And nobody was predicted to go beyond 300 volts.
In the event,everybody went beyond 300 volts.
And 2/3 of them, as we now know,went all the way.
And even when there was no answer from the person next door,still they went on.
And remarkably, a lot of people were prepared to continue shocking to the point where it appeared they’d killed the other person.
– What Milgram concluded that this revealed about obedience is that it’s not unnatural that practically anybody can be induced to obey authority and to do things which you might regard as inhumane, cruel, sadistic, and yet with not any sadistic intent but simply in order to abide by the instructions given to them by a legitimate authority.
And the conclusions seems to be, or at least the conclusion that many people took from this research is that people’s inclination to unconditional obedience is very high
– Milgram’s research threw new light on the Holocaust and the question of how ordinary German citizens could have been turned into mass murderers in such a short time.
It seemed that the phrase”only obeying orders” had rather more to it than most people believed at the time.
– To many of them, they were obeying orders.
The orders were clear
So if you wish to believe you were obeying orders, you can
And it was a very rigid hierarchy. And people who showed sympathy were exterminated too.
– To some, Milgram’s experiments were amongst the most important ever done in psychology. But others were very critical, arguing this research should never have been done,because it was completely unethical.

PART 3-  

The Malleability of Memory

View the video on Elizabeth Loftus and discuss memory. THIS VIDEO CAN BE FOUND ON YOUTUBE

PART 4 Read the article The Perfect Poster and post your thoughts. The article is in the Resources . HERE IS THE ARTICLE: THE PERFECT POSTER

Poster sessions offer a chance for many eyes to see your hard work — and some of those visitors may open doors to interesting research collaboration, postdoc or career opportunities. The trick is making your poster stand out among the hundreds of others.

“A good poster is not just tacking a standard research paper on poster board,” says Kathryn Tosney, PhD, a neurobiologist and chair of the biology department at the University of Miami who created a poster-making guide to help her own students. “An effective poster helps you engage colleagues in conversation and gets your main points across to as many people as possible.”

Here are a few hints to draw a crowd:

  • Focus on findings. The first thing people will look at is the poster’s title, says Warren Street, PhD, a professor emeritus of psychology at Central Washington University who’s judged poster sessions for years. The title should let people know what your poster is about in one brief sentence, he says. “You’re marketing your ideas,” he says. “Look for a simple, effective message that invites people into conversation.” In the body of the poster, use short, declarative sentences to explain what you found and why it matters. Limit your methods section to a few sentences — if someone wants the nitty-gritty, they’ll ask. “Providing endless details detracts from the point of your poster,” Tosney says. “Simple messages are more memorable.”
  • Emphasize graphics. At a convention, your poster will probably be one fish in a large sea. Charts, graphs and pictures will make your poster pop, says George Hess, PhD, a professor at North Carolina State University who collaborated with Tosney to create an online poster-making guide. “There’s real power in turning your information into simple, clean graphical representations to communicate data relationships.”
  • Avoid ‘chart junk.’ Unnecessary grid lines, labels, keys and other extraneous information undermine your main message, Tosney says. Let the data speak for itself as much as possible, Hess adds. Daniel Baughn, a clinical psychology and behavioral medicine grad student at Virginia Commonwealth University, recommends usingposter design software, which automatically balances image sizes with the rest of the poster’s materials.
  • Choose colors wisely. “Go for simplicity and stick to two or three colors that really stand out against your background,” Hess says. More than that will overload and confuse your readers. In general, dark colors against a white background show up better than light colors against a dark background, especially in dimmer convention halls. Also, apply colors consistently, with section titles all the same hue. Finally, Hess says, keep in mind that 7 percent to 10 percent of men have red-green colorblindness, so don’t put those colors adjacent to each other.
  • Leave white space. Don’t jam every square inch of your poster with graphs and text, says Street. Leaving space between poster elements will make it easier to read.
  • Aim for symmetry. If you have a graphic element in the top left, try to include one in the bottom right, as well. A 1994 study in Nature found that humans have an aesthetic preference for symmetrical things, be they people or patterns (Vol. 372, No. 2). A poster that’s image-heavy on either end throws off people’s natural affinity for symmetry. Graphics in the middle of your poster are fine, but don’t overload the poster edges, Tosney adds.
  • Design for your readers’ eyes. Designer and communication researcher Colin Wheildon, author of “Type & Layout” (Worsley Press, 2005), explains that most people from Western reading backgrounds will read your poster from top to bottom, then left to right. So lay out your information in columns that follow this path. You can number your sections and include simple flowchart marks to further guide your reader’s gaze. One thing you don’t want to do is get too unusual with your layout, says Hess. It’s more important for your poster to be readable than clever.
  • Mind the details. Include your full contact information. If you go off to look at other posters or get lunch, you might miss someone who’s interested in talking to you. Also, have printouts of your poster that include a few explanatory sentences on either a separate page or along the bottom.


  1. Write a 500- to 750-word summary of the ethical issues that affect your selected research question and methodology, including the following:
    • Write a brief statement of the research question.
    • List the possible ethical issues, such as consideration of characteristics of your sample, type of data collection, potential for bias, and so forth.
    • Identify and cite the APA ethical standard concerning the issue.
    • Respond to each issue, specifying how you, the researcher, will minimize or eliminate it.
    • Format your summary consistent with APA guidelines.


Write a 1,400- to 1,750-word research proposal including the following:

  • Introduction, including purpose and importance of your topic
  • Literature review based on the Annotated Bibliography assignment
  • Research questions and hypothesis
  • Methods: sample, procedure, and analysis
  • Ethical considerations
  • Discussion: expected results, conclusions, and limitations
  • References

Format your research proposal consistent with APA guidelines.


Chapter 13 Writing a Research Proposal


  • • Only one thing—How to write a proposal!

If one of the requirements for this class is to write a research proposal, then you have come to the right place. This chapter will lead you through the process you need to take to write a research proposal. Even if you are not required to write a proposal for class, stick around anyway. What you learn here will be helpful in your research endeavors. You will learn what distinguishes acceptable proposals from unacceptable ones. You will also learn the importance of framing a question in a clear, logical manner so that it is easier to answer. In Chapter 3, there was a ton of information about reviewing the literature—both on and off line—an important part of preparing any research proposal. If you need to, review that now.Writing a proposal is not an easy task for anyone, and it may be especially difficult if you have not written one before or if you have not done much writing. The job takes diligence, commitment, and hard work, but all the hard work is well worth it. You will end up with a product of which you can be proud, and that is only the beginning. If you actually follow through and complete the proposed research, you will be making a significant contribution to your field. With these words of encouragement, the following are the major steps to follow in the writing of a proposal, beginning with what a proposal looks like.

The Format of a Research Proposal

Knowing how to organize and present a proposal is an important part of the research craft. The very act of putting thoughts down on paper will help you clarify your research interests and ensure that you are saying what you mean. Remember the fellow on the television commercial who said, “Pay me now or pay me later”? The more work and thought you put into your proposal, the easier it will be to complete the research later. In fact, many supervising faculty suggest that a proposal’s first two or three chapters be actually the same as the entire finished thesis or dissertation—putting you way ahead of the game.The following is a basic outline of what should be contained in a research proposal and a few comments on each of these sections. Keep in mind that proposals can be organized differently and, whatever you do, be sure that your professor approves of your outline before you start writing.

  • I. Introduction
    • A. Problem statement
    • B. Rationale for the research
      • 1. Statement of the research objectives
    • C. Hypothesis
    • D. Definitions of terms
    • E. Summary, including a restatement of the problem
  • II. Review of the relevant literature (the more complete it is, the better)
    • A. Importance of the question being asked
    • B. Current status of the topic
    • C. Relationship between the literature and the problem statement
    • D. Summary, including a restatement of the relationships between the important variables under consideration and how these relationships are important to the hypothesis proposed in the introduction
  • III. Method
    • A. Participants (including a description and selection procedures)
    • B. Research design
    • C. Data collection plans
      • 1. Operational definition of all variables
      • 2. Reliability and validity of instruments
      • 3. Results of pilot studies
    • D. Proposed analysis of the data
    • E. Results of the data
  • IV. Implications and limitations
  • V. Appendices
    • A. Copies of instruments that will be used
    • B. Results of pilot studies (actual data)
    • C. IRB (Institutional Review Board) application and letter of approval
    • D. Participant permission form
    • E. Time line
    • F. Actual data collected

If you have looked at someone else’s thesis or dissertation, you might notice that this outline is organized around the same general sequence of chapter titles—introduction, review of literature, methodology, results, and discussion. Because this is only a proposal, the last two sections cannot present the analysis of the real data or discuss the findings. Instead, the proposal simply talks about the implications and limitations of the study, and the last part (V) contains all the important appendices.The first three sections of the finished proposal form a guideline about what the proposal should contain: introduction, review of literature, and method. The rest of the material (implications and such) should be included at your own discretion and based on the wishes of your adviser or professor. Keep in mind that completing the first three sections is a lot of work. However, you will have to gather that information anyway, and doing it before you collect your data will give you more confidence in conducting your research as well as a very good start and a terrific road map as to where you are going with your research.


Although the words in your proposal are important, the appearance of your proposal is also important. What you say is more important than how you say it, but there is a good deal of truth to Marshall McLuhan’s statement that the medium is the message. Here are some simple, straightforward tips about proposal preparation. If you have any doubts about presentation (and if you don’t have any other class guidelines), follow the guidelines set forth in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of American Psychological Association (APA, 2009), which is discussed and illustrated in Chapter 14.

  • • All pages should be typed with at least 1-inch margins on top, bottom, left, and right to allow sufficient room for comments.
  • • All pages should be double-spaced.
  • • All written materials should be proofread. This does not mean just using a spell checker. These marvels check only your typing skills (to, two, or too?), not your spelling or grammar. So, proofread your paper twice—once for content and once for spelling and grammatical errors. And, it would not be a bad idea to ask a fellow student to read it once.
  • • The final document should be paper clipped or stapled together, with no fancy covers or bindings (too expensive and unnecessary).
  • • All pages should be numbered with a running head (all of which is right justified) and a page number like this

Cognitive Style and Gender Differences/Salkind 15As for the format of the contents, you cannot go wrong if you follow the example given in Chapter 14, which is written using the APA guidelines for manuscript presentation. There are some differences between what you are reading here and what you will see in Chapter 14, but nothing major. For example, APA guidelines do not require the author’s name on each page because the review for journals is “blind.” Your professor, however, needs your name on each page.

Evaluating the Studies You Read

When you begin to go through research articles in preparation for writing a proposal (or just to learn more about the research process), you want to be sure that you can read, understand, and evaluate the content.As a beginning researcher, you might not be ready to take on the “experts” and start evaluating and criticizing the work of well-known researchers, right? Wrong! Even if you are relatively naive and inexperienced about the research process, you can still read and critically evaluate research articles. Even the most sophisticated research should be written in a way that is clear and understandable. Finally, even if you cannot answer all the questions listed below to your satisfaction at this point, they provide a great starting place for learning more. As you gain more experience, the answers will appear.So what makes good research? B. W. Hall, A. W. Ward, and C. B. Comer (1988) asked that very question about 128 published research articles. Among a survey of research experts, they found the following shortcomings (in order of appearance) to be the most pressing criticisms. Even though this article is almost 16 years old, the findings are still relevant to any proposal.

  • • The data collection procedure was not carefully controlled.
  • • There were weaknesses in the design or plan of the research.
  • • The limitations of the study were not stated.
  • • The research design did not address the question being asked by the researcher(s).
  • • The method of selecting participants was not appropriate.
  • • The results of the study were not clearly presented.
  • • The wrong methods were used to analyze the information collected.
  • • The article was not clearly written.
  • • The assumptions on which the study was based were unclear.
  • • The methods used to conduct the study were not clearly described or not described at all.

This is quite a series of pitfalls. To help you avoid the worst of them, you might want to ask the following set of questions about any research article.

Criteria for Judging a Research Study

Review of Previous Research

  • 1. How closely is the literature reviewed in the study related to previous literature?
  • 2. Is the review recent? Are there any outstanding references you know about that were left out?

Problem and the Purpose

  • 3. Can you understand the statement of the problem?
  • 4. Is the purpose of the study clearly stated?
  • 5. Does the purpose seem to be tied to the literature that is reviewed?
  • 6. Is the objective of the study clearly stated?
  • 7. Is there a conceptual rationale to which the hypotheses are grounded?
  • 8. Is there a rationale for why the study is an important one to do?


  • 9. Are the research hypotheses clearly stated?

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