Research Paper Assignment Help
Directions for Writing Assignment TWO
Due 13 March 2015
The goal for Research Assignment 2 (WA2) is:
A) for you to become familiar with using the Psychology Database to find relevant research articles,
B) to be able to read and report on the findings of the research article in a short paper and,
C) to be able to accomplish the written report using APA style.
Step One: Find two articles that address a psychology question that is meaningful to you, using the Psychology
database provided by the library in pdf format and print it.
a. Go to our class site and click on the ISU library button
b. Then select electronic resources under the Student tab
c. Then select psychology in the blue drop down box and search for databases that contain psychology articles.
d. Then choose “PsychArticles” as the data base.
e. In the EBSCO window you can type in three different search terms.
f. Type in a keyword in the top window and then click the search key. It will probably find more than a
1000 articles – You don’t want to look through 1000 articles – so you need to refine your search by using other
keywords in conjunction with each other.
g. This process of trying many keywords may take some time for you to identify one article that will help you
answer your question and you may have to refine your question depending on the articles that the database
h. Once you have found a good article, download the pdf of the article, print it, and read the relevant
parts. (Note – I don’t expect you to understand and report everything the authors did. Often articles include
multiple experiments. Our goal is not to reproduce that article – but rather for you to understand enough of it to
answer your research question.
Step Two: Read the articles and grasp the important concepts, questions, methodology and results.
Step Three: Using your OWN words create a 3 page word document that tells me what you found and how you
answered your research question. You need to include:
1) brief description of the research question
2) brief description of the experiment and methodology
3) what were the results – present the results (use the means of the groups or the correlation coefficients)
4) what do the results mean?
5) Include a reference section (in APA style) for the articles. This reference section should only contain the two
sources you used. (It may also contain other sources you used if you used other sources as well.)
Step Four: submit this 5 page document (cover page, three pages of text, and a reference page) electronically
through our class site. Use the Turnitin link called Research Assignment 2 under the Course Document Button
(In the Folder labeled Research Assignment 2).
Hints for a good score:
1) Look at the sample paper and use it as a guide for how the headers should look, how the title should appear,
how to cite your sources and how to list your sources in APA style in the Reference Section.
2) This should be a very boring paper to read. It should NOT include any statements like “ In my research I
found ….”. Do not use “I” or “you “ at all in a paper of this type.
3) Don’t use the author names or the title of the article in the text of your paper. The author’s names are used
only in the citations and in the reference section.
4) Focus on the research question! State your question, tell me why this question is important, and then make
some statements attempting to answer the question and support those statements with results (data – average
group values, etc.).
5) Here is an example: Do people learn better while listening to music or listening to silence? College students learn word lists better while listening to music (Wilson, House, & Cutty, 2014) but are able to solve math problems better and faster while listening to silence (Granger, Potter, & Weasley, 2003). Two groups of participants were asked to remember lists of words that were visually presented at the rate of one word every two seconds (Wilson, House, & Cutty, 2014). Both groups were wearing headphones. One group listened to the music of REM at 75 dband the other group heard nothing. When tested 24 hours later, the music group remembered 35 of the 50 words presented (70%) and the group that heard silence remembered 20 of the 50 words (40%). This significant difference indicates that learning is improved while listening to music, at least for the learning of word lists (Wilson , House, & Cutty, 2013).
6) This should not be a summary of one article, then a summary of another article. The focus should always be on answering your research question. So the choice of a research question is critical!!! You may have to try many keywords to find articles that will help you address and refine your research question.
7) The last page should be your reference section. It should be labeled “References” just like in the sample paper. It should be in hanging indent paragraph format. Only the title of the Journal and the volume number of the journal is in italics.
8) Use the sample paper as a guide.
9) Submit your document using the link by 11:59 pm on Sunday 9 March.
What Determines Sexual Orientation?
INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
13 March 2015
What Determines Sexual Orientation?
Sexual orientation can be an emotional subject. The question is what are the factors that may be involved in identifying one’s sexual orientation. There have been debates about whether or not sexual orientation is environmental or biological and whether we have any “choice” in our orientation. How are researchers able to identify the causes or influences on a person’s sexual orientation? There are both environmental and biological influences that are important to consider in when attempting to understand sexual orientation. One biological influence may be the amount of hormones present. Lesbians may have more male hormones than heterosexual women (Ellis, 1996; Jerrell, 2010). Initial studiesfound that there were small differences between lesbian women and heterosexual woman. Blood tests revealed that the average amount of androgens present in the 40 tested lesbians was 67.2 p/ml and in the 40 heterosexual women it was only 51.7 p/ml(Gatrell, Loriaux, & Chase, 1977). However more recent studies have shown that there are actually no significant differences in the level of androgens among heterosexual and homosexual women (Dancey, 1990). So hormone levels do not appear to be the cause of differences in sexual orientation. Another biological theory more widely excepted is the neuroendocrine theory. This theory suggests that the level of hormones in the womb may influence later sexual orientation. Fetuses born to a womb that was previously exposed to androgens (an older male sibling) may be exposed to higher levels of male hormones than fetuses from a womb that was never exposed to androgens. Due to the high levels of masculinizing hormones during the latter half of gestation a female brain could become a more male brain. Later in life – for example after puberty, this brain (that has been exposed to more masculinizing hormones than usual) may now have a greater preference for females as sex partners (Ellis, 1996). The biggest support for this theory comes from the fact that lesbian brains more closely resemble a man’s brain than what a heterosexual woman’s would. Levay’s research using cadaver brains demonstrated that one area of the hypothalamus thought to be important in sexual orientation averaged 11mm in diameter in men and homosexual women and 14 mm in diameter in women and homosexual men (Levay, 1987). Note that this is only a correlational study and subjects were classified after their death as heterosexual or homosexual based on the reports of others (which may or may not be accurate). A cause and effect may be determined by using animals. If animals could be given injections to enlarge this part of their brains then we can measure their sexual orientation with small brain areas and then enlarge that brain area and then see what effect it has on their sexual orientation. It certainly would be interesting if enlarging that area of their brains caused 98% of the animals to develop homosexual orientations. It could also be possible that our genes play a role in sexual orientation. Studies have found that lesbians have a significantly higher amount of non-heterosexual siblings than did heterosexual women (Bailey, 1993). Lesbians also have more gay cousins through paternal aunt and uncles than do heterosexual women. These studies suggest that genetics could have a big impact on sexuality but does not rule out environmental factors as a cause. However even better evidence for genetic factors in sexuality are twin studies. The best studies are studies of identical twins that were raised apart. If twins raised in different environments have similarities then it may be due to genetics, since the environments are assumed to be different. However this assumption may be invalid since, even though they are raised apart they could be raised in similar environments(Eckert, Bouchard, Bohen, & Heston, 1986). These studies have not found evidence however that identical twins do share the same sexual orientation. In most cases if one twin was a lesbian the other was heterosexual. This suggests even further that environment has a lot to do with sexual orientation. However,twins that were raised together were more likely to either both be gay or both be heterosexual. There is also evidence that handedness and sexual orientation are related. This suggests that sexuality is biological. Studies have found that gays and lesbians are more likely to be left handed than their heterosexual friends (Gatrell, Loriaux, & Chase, 1977). In fact it is a high 39% more. Some suggest thathandedness is determined early in life (maybe even prenatally)so a connection between sexuality and handedness could be very significant.
Some studies suggest that homosexuality could even be due to high stress in the mother during pregnancy during the time in which the sex organs are forming citation. There has also been some research on the hypothalamus in which gay women have been found to have bigger hypothalamuses than heterosexual women. The homosexual women’s hypothalamus was closers to a man’s size. However this study has its problems because the bigger size of the hypothalamus in homosexual women could actually be due to increased or decreased sex drive (Gatrell et al., 1977). There is some evidence that sexuality could be passed down on the X chromosome from mother to son but not from father to son. In 33 out of 40 homosexual brothers there was an area found on the X chromosome that contains several hundred genes that the homosexual brothers had in common. This is very good evidence that genetics play a big role in sexual orientation (Eckert et al., 1986).
In conclusion, sexual orientation may be affected by environmental and biological factors. Most homosexual people say they cannot help but being gay just as heterosexuals say they do not choose to be heterosexual they just ARE. If sexual orientation was completely biological then we would have some physical indicator of heterosexuality or homosexuality. Will we ever be able to identify the physical causes for homosexuality orheterosexuality? One thing appears certain. We have a long way to go before we can determine the contributions of biology or the environment to heterosexual or homosexual orientation. There are many factors that appear to play a role in sexual orientation (genes, hormones, stress, prenatal development, brain size factors, environment growing up, etc.) and the picture gets fuzzier as we consider that for some people their sexual orientation changes as they go through different stages of life. In general we can state that the genetic component of sexual orientation is supported by findings that there is a higher correspondence rate in identical vs. fraternal twins (Bailey, 1995), and that handedness and sexual orientation are linked (Gatrell, et al., 1977). We also see the impact of early environmental influences in the womb conditioning theories that indicates that if you have an older brother you may be somewhat more masculinized due to the uterus’s prior exposure to testosterone (Eckert et al., 1986). Meaningful advances and understanding of this issue will come only after a way of evaluating sexual orientation on a linear scale of measurement. We can no longer view sexual orientation as a dichotomous variable having two values of homo or hetero. Very few individuals fall into those exclusive categories. Correlational data will make much more sense when all researchers use the same standardized scale in measuring sexual orientation tendencies. Future research needs to focus on evaluating individuals on a sexual orientation scale.
Bailey, J.M. (1995). Biological perspectives on sexual orientation. In A.R.D Augelli & C.J. Paterson
(Eds.), Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identities Over the Lifespan(pp. 104-135). New York: Oxford
Dancey, C.P. (1990). Sexual orientation in women: An investigation of hormonal and personality
variables. Biological Psychology, 30, 251-264.
Eckert, E.D., Bouchard, T.J., Bohen, J., & Heston, L.L. (1986).Homosexuality in monozygotic twins
reared apart. British Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 421-425.
Ellis, L. (1996). Theories of homosexuality. In R.C Williams & K.M. Cohen (Eds.), The Lives of Lesbians,
Gays, and Bisexuals: Children to Adults (pp.11-34). San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Gatrell, N.K., Loriaux, D.L., & Chase T.N. (1977). Plasma testosterone in homosexual and heterosexual
women.American Journal of Psychiatry, 134, 1117-1119.
Jerrell, P.C. (2010). Determination of sexual orientation by hormone level. Biological Psychology, 345(4),
Levay, S. (1987). Size of hypothalamic nucleus may predict sexual orientation. Sexual Behaviors, 69(3),
Note that the Dancey, 1990; Eckert et al., 1986; Gatrell et al., 1977; Jerrell, 2010 and Levay, 1987 are
primary research articles and the others are OK sources to use but they are not primary. You must have
at least 2 primary sources for this paper.
Also note that these 7 sources are ordered in the Reference section alphabetically by the first author’s
last name. They are not numbered.
This Sample paper is provided for you to refer to and use as a template for your paper. The research question for this sample paper was focused on what determines sexual orientation. Your research question should be focused on a topic you are interested in and the articles you find should help you answer your question. This is a very important part of this class experience. This is how we explore questions of human behavior. I hope you can find a good question on a topic that you are genuinely interested in. This paper might be your first step into a topic that you will pursue throughout your academic career because most research does NOT answer the question definitively but instead creates more questions.
Why are St. John’s Wort and Other Complementary and Alternative Therapies preferred by Psychotherapy Clients?
INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
7 March 2015
Why are St. John’s Wort and Other Complementary and Alternative Therapies preferred by Psychotherapy Clients?
While talking about treatment for any kind of disease, two thoughts come to mind; first traditional methods of treatment and the second the modern medical methods of treatment. Psychological disorders also need both these kinds of treatments. Surprisingly, most of the patients suffering from psychological disorders prefer complementary and alternative therapies, and use herbal drugs, such as St. John’s Wort for their treatment. The number of psychotherapy clients using St. John’s wort and complementary and alternative therapies is increasing and studies have shown that 25-40% of the US population is using some kind of alternative or complementary medicine (Rivas-Vazquez, 2001).One of the most popular herbal remedies in Europe and the U.S. is Hypericum perforatum or St. John’s wort. There are some obvious reasons behind this changing pattern of preference of treatment. In a survey conducted on two hundred sixty-two psychotherapy clients, 64 % of the clients accepted the usage of at least one complementary and alternative therapy modality (CAM). The common reasons given for the usage of CAM were depression, anxiety, chronic pain, or fatigue, and the clients also gave the details of the modalities being used for different purposes (Elkins, Marcus, Rajab, & Durgam, 2005). Herbal remedies, such as St.John’s wort and other complementary and alternative therapies are being preferred by psychotherapy clients because they are beneficial for the treatment of certain common psychological disorders.
According to studies and surveys, most of the psychotherapy clients use herbal modalities, such as St. John’s wort for depression and kava kava for anxiety. Looking at the increase in the usage of herbal modalities by the psychotherapy clients, it is important to understand the pharmacological activity and composition of the herbal medicines. The clients believe that prescription drugs are riskier than the herbal medicines, but there is evidence that shows that even the herbs can have adverse effects (Rivas-Vazquez, 2001). Hypericum perforatum consists of different compounds, such as hypercinin, hyperforin, pseudohypericin, flavonoids and procyanidines, which are responsible for its pharmacological activity. There is no standardized preparation available of this drug because the elements are not present in an even amount, and it becomes difficult to distinguish between the high quality and low quality preparations. The herb works on the nervous system and increases the availability of monoamine neurotransmitters and inhibits the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.