Milestone 4: Sleep and Online Psychology Graduate Students

Student X

Research Methods in Psychology I

Dr. Y



Sleep and Online Psychology Graduate Students



The number of participants for this study will be those SNHU psychology graduate

students who self-select into the study. All participants will be gathered from a population of

current online psychology graduate students enrolled in the Southern New Hampshire

University Online Studies program. The demographics of this population will not be known as

demographic considerations are not part of this study’s hypothesis.


The material for this study will consist entirely of a survey. The survey will be created

and administered in Qualtrics, an online platform endorsed for use by SNHU for this project.

Qualtrics will allow those who self-select into the study to participate will relative ease.


After the survey is constructed, a unique link to the survey will be posted in the

Psychology Student Lounge at SNHU to provide access for current graduate students to

complete. Participants will be asked to indicate their responses to topics such as the number of

hours slept per night and questions related to their stress levels. These variables will be

analyzed to determine if the hypothesis for this study can be accepted.

Ethical Considerations

This study will be authorized by SNHU. The restrictions place on this study (e.g., only

being allowed to collect data from fellow students) help ensure the ethicality of this effort. In

addition, informed consent information will be presented and only those who grant consent will

be allowed to participate. Any prospective participant can choose to not participate, or can


choose to exit the study at any time, without any penalty or negative repercussions. Neither the

researcher nor the class instructor will know who did or did not participate in this study.

Because this study will ask about personal issues (i.e., sleep and stress), there is a

possibility that some respondents could experience some level of distress. For example,

participants may not have had full awareness of the amount of stress in their lives and

responding to questions about stress could trouble them, actually increasing their stress levels.

Participants will therefore be provided with the phone number of the SNHU Counseling Center.

The suggestion will also be made to contact a local Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

for assistance should they feel the need to do so.

Data Analysis Plan

Prepare New Data

The raw data from the online survey will be entered into SSPS. Each variable will be

examined for descriptive data, such as the mean and standard deviation. Scatterplots and

boxplots will be created to find any outliners which may affect the data analysis. Outliers, if any,

will be addressed based on their number and severity.

Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive statistics will, at a minimum, include means, ranges, and standard deviations

for each variable. This information will be presented in table form for clarity. Scatterplots and

boxplots will be used, if appropriate based on the data received.

Analytic Procedures

According to Rosnow and Rosenthal (2013), variables are not examined in isolation but

in context with other variables and the nature of the study. The relationship between sleep

quantity and stress will be analyzed using Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlation (r), which is


appropriate for seeking a relationship between two sets of ratio data. Findings will be deemed

significant if p < .05. Principles and Standards The APA Code of Ethics (2017) will be followed throughout this study. This will include presenting accurate data and correctly using and reporting statistical results. All sources will be properly cited. Participants’ personal information will be guarded and no one will know who did (or did not) participate in the study. Only the researcher will have access to the raw data and this data will be destroyed at the conclusion of PSY-520. The APA Ethics Code requires specific ethical attributes of good research in Standard 8: Research and Publication. Results The expectation for this study will be that the research hypothesis will be accepted: there will be a significant, negative correlation between sleep hours and stress. If so, this study will add to the body of knowledge on the topic of sleep by supporting the idea that reduced sleep quantity is associated with higher stress levels. Because this study will focus only on graduate students in psychology, this will be important information for those who are psychology graduate students as well as graduate school instructors and administrators. However, the focus on psychology graduate students may also limit the generalizability of this study. SLEEP & ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENTS 5 References American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Rosnow, R. L., & Rosenthal, R. (2013). Beginning behavioral research: A conceptual primer (7th ed.). Pearson. Method Materials Procedures Ethical Considerations Data Analysis Plan Descriptive Statistics Analytic Procedures Principles and Standards Results

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