Saturday, February 6, 2010

Exciting Research Questions

I am teaching a class on how to write a psychology research paper. This week I had my students come up with a few research questions that they would be interested in writing about. Here are some examples (typos by the original author):

If one has a positive attitude, will good things happen?

Do chocolate serves as the top favored aphrodisiac food for women compared to other types of erotic food that arouses sexual desire?

Why do even people who have everything, want more?

How great, if at all, is the length of a student’s average amount of REM sleep versus their grades

Abortion in college students leads to a more satisfying state of mind.

What is the purpose of social conformity?

Are PC users more stressed out than Mac users?

how people react to using new technology

Does birth order determine homosexuality? I always heard that the 2nd son is “gayer” than the first.

I really wish that these were made up. These aren't even the worst of the bunch, I recieved a range of responses that were just strange existential statements or incredibly non PC statements about various minority groups/genders/social classes.

I've already talked to the class about what sort of questions can and can not be tested in an experimental study... looks like I'll need to cover that again.  Aside from that, I'm not looking forward to having to address the outright misogyny and homophobia evident in a lot of these questions (those that are questions and not just statements).

Should make for a fun semester.

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