Discussion: Research Design

Studies have found that seeking social connection online can result in users’ loss of social skills, damage to existing relationships, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and inability to interact meaningfully in face-to-face situations (Ahn & Shin, 2013; Cain, 2018; Chiou et al., 2015; Oberst et al., 2017). Some even argue that social media use is the newest form of addiction (Cha & Seo, 2018). However, not all researchers have reached the same conclusion.

That said, findings to date suggest excessive social media use looms as a potential real-world problem. Researchers want to know what motivates excessive social media use and, more importantly, what and how it may affect its consumers. Furthermore, researchers may want to know if excessive social media use is age- or gender-specific or if its use is preferred by certain personality types, educational achievement, race, or ethnicity. There are myriad ways to approach this topic, depending on what, specifically, the researcher wants to know.

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For this Discussion, you will create a research question related to quantitative or qualitative research in social psychology as well as examine a research method appropriate for the question.

References:
Ahn, D., & Shin, D. H. (2013). Is the social use of media for seeking connectedness or for avoiding social isolation? Mechanisms underlying media use and subjective well-being. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(6), 2453–2462.

Cain, J. (2018). It’s time to confront student mental health issues associated with smartphones and social media. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 82(7), 738–741. Retrieved from https://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=132137452&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Cha, S., & Seo, B. (2018). Smartphone use and smartphone addiction in middle school students in Korea: Prevalence, social networking service, and game use. Health Psychology Open, 5(1), 2055-1029.

Chiou, W.B., Lee, C.C., & Liao, D.C. (2015). Facebook effects on social distress: Priming with social networking thoughts can alter the perceived distress due to social exclusion. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, 230–236.

Oberst, U., Wegmann, E., Stodt, B., Brand, M., & Chamarro, A. (2017). Negative consequences from heavy social networking in adolescents: The mediating role of fear of missing out. Journal of Adolescence, 55, 51–60.

To Prepare
• Review the Learning Resources for this week and consider the types of research questions for quantitative and qualitative research in social psychology as well as research design approaches based on the type of research question.
• From the perspective of a social psychologist, consider what information you want to know about users’ motives for and the effects of excessive social media use.
• Consider what research question would provide information relevant to what you want to know.
• Because your research question determines the appropriate research method, think about the method best suited to address the research question, either quantitative (e.g., observational, correlational, experimental) or qualitative (e.g., phenomenological, case study).
• Consider appropriate empirical support for the research method that you chose.
• Make sure that your research question and research method align—in other words, make sure that the research method will answer your research question.

By Day 4
Post a research question that reflects a social psychologist’s interest in the motives for and effects of excessive social media use. Indicate the research methodology that best aligns with your research question and provide empirical support for the research method you have chosen.
Read your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ posts in the following way:
Take a colleague’s research question and alter it so that it aligns with a different research design. Then, justify why this change would be worth researching from a social psychology perspective.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the social psychology theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or Internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your post and responses. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained as a result of your colleagues’ comments.
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