The criteria for the M.A. thesis in the M.A. Counseling Psychology program is stated on page 20 as follows:
Within the context of the Institute’s guiding vision, students are encouraged to select a particular topic that they wish to explore in depth. Towards this end, the student is asked:
1. To pursue an area of individual interest relevant to the issues of counseling psychology (e.g., therapeutic issues, psychological motifs, clinical procedures).
2. To ground this particular area of interest in a conceptual framework (e.g., background information, findings, concluding evaluation). 3. To demonstrate competency in researching a specific area and in expressing ideas with clarity and precision.
4. To submit a thesis that meets all criteria for completion and is worthy of submission to Proquest for publication as determined by the Research Coordinator.
In order to satisfy these criteria and to assist future researchers, the student will write a statement regarding research methodology in the thesis proposal for CP 620Research in Psychology, in the thesis outline for CP 650-Directed Research I, and in both the Abstract and Chapter 1 of the M.A. thesis itself. In addition to naming the research methodology utilized, the statement in the thesis will include the steps in the research method, the sources of data, a comment on data analysis, and the limitations of the chosen research methodology. Additionally, if the data gathering process has included the use of human subjects, the final, approved ethics application will be included as an appendix in the thesis.
Quantitative Research Methodology
Though the use of quantitative methodology is rare in M.A. Counseling Psychology Theses, we are and will be consumers of quantitative research and therefore we need to be familiar with this approach. Also, some students use the M.A. thesis as a pilot project for what becomes a doctoral dissertation, which may involve the use of quantitative research methods
In a quantitative study there must be a testable hypothesis and the hypothesis must include concepts that can be measured by numbers. In quantitative studies the experimental methods must be appropriate and well designed and the statistical applications and tools must be appropriate. Quantitative studies come in many forms. One form involves distinct experimental and control groups. In this form, to research
clinical interventions a study might be designed so one group receives the intervention and one group does not. The group that does not receive the intervention is called the control group. Other forms of quantitative studies may not have a separate control group. ABAB designs, for instance, have one group that alternates back and forth between control and experimental conditions. This design can yield important results. ABA and ABBA designs are similarly important.
Quantitative research is a process of disproving the null hypothesis. Such a study tries to prove that there will be no difference in response between the experimental and control groups. If a difference in response occurs 95% of the time, then the null hypothesis that states that there is no meaningful difference between the group receiving the treatment and the control group, has been disproved by the study. When this occurs the opposite of the null hypothesis, which the researcher surmised was the case, is proven.
Quantitative methodology takes care to control the variables studied, and to determine which variables are cause, which variables are effect, and which variables are correlative. An important consideration is choosing a sample in which both the test group and the control group are large enough to provide statistically significant results. Sample group chosen can be representative or random samples. A quantitative study needs to be described sufficiently in the literature so that it can be replicated by other researchers. In quantitative methodology the researcher tries to...