Discussion: 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.
By Day 3
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.
My program of study is: General Psychology so my topic must be Computer literacy in adults.
Here are the reading :
Required Readings
Galvan, J. L. (2015). Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences (6th ed). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak.
Chapter 9, “Guidelines for Writing a First Draft” (pp. 83–84)
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Walden University. (n.d.) Research resources: Research Planning & writing. Retrieved July 22, 2016, from
Guide to Academic Journaling
Required Media
Walden University Center for Research Quality. (2016, July 26). Developing social problems into research problems for graduate studies [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udfldYXvUxw&feature=youtu.be
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 45 minutes.
Transcript (PDF)
Memmott, J. (2014). Identifying a research problem [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhXQNxL4VCQ
Note: The approximate length for this media piece is 17 minutes.
Trascript (PDF)
Optional Resources
American Psychological Association. (2016). Learning APA style. Retrieved from http://www.apastyle.org/learn/

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