Forming the research question
Writing an EE is an academic exercise where students get the chance to show that they can be “a researcher”. Of course, it is expected that they will write at a level that is appropriate for their level of education. The purpose of the EE is to demonstrate that they can come up with a focused research question, investigate it using appropriate resources, and then present the findings of the investigation. Students should be able to construct an argument based on psychological knowledge, including psychological theories, empirical studies, psychological terminology, and key concepts.
Sample research questions
The research question must be clear and focused so that the reader knows exactly what is being investigated. It must be present in the introduction of the EE. Students are supposed to justify the choice of RQ with reference to real problems and former research done in the area. The following list is a set of good EE questions that are well defined.
- To what extent is child testimony reliable in court?
- Does long-term computer use have an effect on memory?
- Is computer use in the classroom actually enhancing learning?
- To what extent does genetics play a role in OCD?
- To what extent is the theory of biological preparedness of phobias supported?
- Is anorexia a cultural phenomenon?
- To what extent do attachment patterns in early childhood determine later interpersonal relationships?
- To what extent are gender differences biologically based?
- To what extent does psychological stress affect one's ability to cope with a chronic illness?
- Are government-imposed bans on transfats a feasible strategy for reducing obesity?
- Is mindfulness an effective means of coping with stress?
- Can prejudice be reduced?
- Is homosexuality a learned behaviour?
- To what extent does communication play a role in a successful marriage?
Sport - although sports psychology is no longer part of the curriculum, it is totally acceptable as a topic.
- To what extent is the theory of self-efficacy useful for explaining behaviour in competitive sport?
- Is mental imagery an effective strategy for improving performance in football?
- To what extent do coaches play a role in team cohesion?
- Is it possible to increase one's level of "grit"?