differentiating between social problems and research problems

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Differentiating Between Social Problems and Research Problems

Important Note:

During this course, you will be considering the topic of Learning in Adults as it applies to your specific doctoral program area (e.g., Forensic Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology).

You will be using this topic and not your potential dissertation topic throughout the Discussions and Assignments of the course.

Here are some possible examples of how Learning in Adults applies to different psychology programs:

  • Health Psychology: Health literacy in adults
  • Forensic Psychology: Learning and recidivism (GED prisoners)
  • General Psychology: Computer literacy in adults
  • Social Psychology: Attitudes toward learning in adults

In this Discussion, you consider the differences between a social problem and a research problem. All too often, doctoral students want to solve a specific social, organizational, clinical, or practical problem. However, the starting place of your doctoral research is in finding a gap or limitation in the research literature pertaining to that general problem of interest. A gap suggests there is an opportunity for research to provide insight or a unique approach. It is important to consider how you have derived the research problem from within the research and not just from a general social problem of interest.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Consider the differences between a social problem and a research problem as applied within your specific program of study.
  • Review Chapter 9, “Guidelines for Writing a First Draft” (pp. 83–84), in the Galvan text.
  • Review the video Identifying a Research Problem.

Post by Day 3 an example of a social problem and a related research problem as it pertains to the topic of Learning in Adults in your program area. Explain the differences between the social problem and research problem you identified.

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