For this assignment, you will conduct a review of the literature and summarize the findings. You will evaluate a minimum of SIX peer-reviewed research articles and identify what has already been done in this area, what gaps exist in the current literature (if any), any ethical considerations for conducting research in this area, and any issues of validity. This assignment should synthesize the current literature and then build a foundation for your own research proposal. You will describe your research question, independent and dependent variables, and hypothesis and provide a rationale for your proposal idea.

The following areas should be included:

Problem Statement: Describe your general topic and its relevance to real-world issues.

Literature Review: Summarize the existing literature. Describe the type of research designs, the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches, and the appropriateness of the statistical analyses used to address their research questions. Make sure to identify how the studies aligned with the APA principles and standards for conducting research with human subjects. Next, identify what remains unknown in your topic that provides justification for your own study.

Theoretical considerations: Identify a psychological theory that provides a context for your research proposal. As discussed in our text, a theory is a set of ideas that help form a framework for organizing and explaining data to generate new knowledge (Cozby & Bates, 2020). Although the goal is to focus on relevant and up-to-date theories, most theories will be older than 10 years and it is appropriate to have a citation older than 10 years for this section of your paper.

Research Question, Variables, and Hypothesis: After building a strong foundation for what has previously been studied and what gaps exist, present the research question you want to study. Next, outline your hypothesis alongside your specific predictions, clearly delineating whether you will be setting up a correlational or experimental design (see Module 2, applied knowledge check for additional clarification on hypothesis and predictions). Lastly, describe the independent and dependent variables you will use in your study.

Your paper should be formatted using APA 7th edition guidelines with a title page and should be a minimum of five pages (not including your title page and references), and should cite at least SIX peer-reviewed sources.

Research Question – To what extent does social media use correlate with depression?
Independent Variable – Social media use
Dependent Variable – Depression
Hypothesis – People who use social media on a regular basis are more likely to develop depression.
Prediction – If we evaluate the amount of time spent on social media as well as the activities that are involved in, then we will find that using social media greatly contributes and correlates with the development of depression.

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