Step 1: Go to the website www.yourmorals.org (Links to an external site.). Register for a free account (it is run by academics and will not spam you). Once you register, click on the Explore your Morals tab.
Step 2: Choose one questionnaire to complete: Take notes as it is hard to access the questions again without creating a new account. The exact questionnaires available sometimes fluctuate, but some good examples include:
-The Moral Foundations Questionnaire
-Moral Dilemma Survey
-Interpersonal Reactivity Index
-Business Ethics Questionnaire
-Morality and Relationships
Step 3: Find an empirical scientific paper that also uses the same scale or is on a similar topic. Download a .pdf copy of that paper, and upload this .pdf to Canvas HERE. I recommend using Google Scholar or PsycInfo If you are having trouble consult with me during office hours.
Step 4: Write a 3-4 page paper in Times New Roman 12 Point Font, double spaced, in full paragraphs, with no extra spacing after paragraphs. It should fill at least two pages, up to four pages (but the real goal is not length but clarity and precision). Your paper should address the following topics:
What was the questionnaire you took about? In other words, what psychological construct does it aim to measure? Try to describe and explain this construct using precise language, but explaining in ways that would be clear to a nonexpert. If your (non psych) roommate or your mom would understand your topic and learn something new about it, you are doing it right.
How does the questionnaire you took operationalize (measure) the psychological concept (i.e., how does it turn an abstract psychological construct into a number?). This will require explaining what kinds of questions this measure asks, including an example of each question type, as well as defining the response scale, explaining how answers are coded. Note that some questionnaires measure several different concepts on different subscales. Do your best to fully and clearly explain the all subscales in the space available, and consider each subscale when describing people who score ‘high’ or ‘low’.
Report one key finding from the paper that is conceptually related to the scale you took. Take some sentences to explain what they measured and what they found. Specifically, explain what key constructs they measured, and whether they manipulated a variable or simply measured more than one thing. Then report what the statistical relationship was between the two things they measured (e.g., the correlation or regression weight), or report which group scored higher than which other group on the construct they measured. Use words only, do not report numbers or statistics. For example, ‘people higher in disgust sensitivity rated eating one’s dog more immoral than people lower in disgust sensitivity’ or ‘dog owners rated hurting dogs as more immoral than cat owners did.’ Make it clear how they measured the concepts in question (how did participants indicate their immorality ratings? On a 1-5 scale? By giving thumbs up or thumbs down? By howling at the moon?). This might be the exact same way as the questionnaire you took, or it might be a related but different way—clarify. Make sure you cite your paper in the text (e.g., Brandt et al., 2019). However, you do not need a reference section or title page or a running head.
Important: use your own language to describe the scale and the finding; do not rely on the language used in the website or article. It is vitally important to develop the skill of accurately summarizing and explaining other people’s work without using their words. Also, plagiarism is bad. Please do not do it.
Try to balance being thorough with being efficient—there should be no unnecessary fluff, and you should cover all the important aspects. Experts call that kind of writing “muscular” and one builds writing muscles much like gym muscles—lots of (pen) lifting. Try to smoothly connect the paragraphs together with transition sentences, and frame the entire paper neatly with an introductory sentence and closing sentence. In other words, warm up your reader to the topic before addressing the questions, and give them one last statement to chew on at the end.
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