research proposal

Accept this if you are really good at english writing please. Design a research proposal. You will identify a topic of research in psychology that interests you. What do you wonder about? Have you ever had a hunch about learning that you would like to test? Or, have you been told something is supposed to help memory, but you’re not sure you believe it? 5 pages, double spaced not including front page and mla page. The first attachment is the requirment and rubric. everything listed must be covered in the paper. Other attachment is the example of this assignment.Sonali Sharma
Power Posing Research Proposal
How We Learn//Dr.
Over many years, research has been conducted as well as reviewed with regards to
‘power posing’, and its effects on both verbal and nonverbal behavior. Though popular in 2012
and then again recently, power posing remains of interest because it is a highly controversial
topic in the realm of social psychology (Elsesser, 2018). Many studies have verified, as well as
refuted, its efficacy as a tactic to improve confidence and reduce stress before a meaningful
interaction- especially social ones- such as a job interview, an exam, or a public speaking event.
One notable article, published by Amy Cuddy et al., seemingly proved the efficacy of
power posing (Cuddy, 2012). However, a gamut of articles attempting to replicate the methods
of the prospective study or disprove this article has increased. The question of its real effects
remain largely unanswered, so, in this proposal, I seek to further clarify whether this significant
change in non-verbal behavior affects subsequent verbal and non-verbal behaviors. Studies have
shown that external cues such as open and expansive postures cause testosterone, a sex hormone,
to increase internally, and cortisol, a stress hormone, to decrease internally. This indicates that
power posing causes physiological, behavioral, and psychological changes consistent with an
increase in confidence and ability to handle stress (Carney, 2010). Yet, other studies have
concluded that adopting power poses does not show any effect on hormones or risk tolerance in
men or women (Ranehill, 2014). This controversial assortment of studies leaves researchers and
those who wish to learn more about power posing with an incomplete understanding of its
Although many prospective studies have been conducted, many retrospective studies in
favor of power posing seem to exhibit selective reporting. Research that proves a hypothesis is
more likely to be published than research that disproves it, thereby creating a bias (Simmons,
2017). Interestingly, Cuddy et al., the authors of the original paper, responded to the Simmons et
al. findings to debase their claims of bias and selective reporting (Cuddy, 2018).
I have designed this research proposal with the intention of studying the phenomenon of
“Power Posing”, and whether its efficacy is based in true science or merely on a variation of the
well-established ‘Placebo Effect’. An in-class prospective study using the same population
sample will be used to validate or reject the findings of the study entitled: “The Benefit of Power
Posing Before a High Stakes Social Evaluation”, published by Amy Cuddy et al. Due to a lack of
technological and informational knowledge and capability, this in class trial will not be able to
speak to hormonal changes, but will hopefully show a shift in behaviors depending on the pose
adopted prior to observation.
This in-class study must be simple, easy to replicate, and comprehensible for the parties
being observed under their designated conditions. Hence, I will use the bare minimum of
variables and constants to maintain ease without compromising the validity and reliability.
The independent variable will be the pose adopted by the participant- either
open/expansive or closed/contractive. Examples of open/expansive poses include ‘superhero
stance’, standing upright in a wide stance with arms in a ‘v-shape’ above the head or on the hips,
or any pose that takes up a large amount of space. Closed/contractive stances include hunching,
sitting with arms crossed, sitting with hands folded in one’s lap, or, more generally, positions
using a minimal amount of space. The dependent variable ideally would be hormone level
fluctuations, however in light of the limited resources and understanding, I have chosen the
dependent variable to be a self-reported numerical value on a predetermined scale of 1-5 of
confidence level experienced by the participant. All scales and means of measure will either be
obtained from a reputable source or created by me.
Students will be separated by biological gender due to naturally higher occuring levels of
testosterone in men. Students will not be told of the research conducted nor results of more
credible studies conducted on power posing prior to observation in order to inhibit bias. The
study will manipulate the independent variable based upon duration sustaining the pose and type
of pose. Participants will be asked to report confidence levels prior to completing the pose as
well as after. Additionally, students will be asked to perform a task of social interaction before
posing as well as after. Limitations of this study include inability to measure testosterone and
cortisol levels as well as potentially skewed or inaccurate data due to the nature of self-reported
data. Confounding variables such as naturally lower confidence or deterrence to risk taking will
be eliminated by taking into account initial confidence levels. Final confidence levels will be
compared to each individual only and an average increase/decrease will be calculated
Expected Outcomes:
Largely based on research of prospective studies as well as meta-analyses and systematic
reviews, the expected outcome should support the hypothesis stated by Cuddy et al. that power
posing does in fact boost hormone levels, which results in a psychological boost in confidence
and risk tolerance. I predict that numerical values for confidence should increase by a significant
increment (in this case, significance is quantified as a difference of 1.25 points or more). This
should demonstrate a clear correlation, if not causation, between physiological nonverbal
behavior and psychological behavior consistent with an increase in confidence.
Further confirmation of hypotheses not only makes them more parsimonious, but also
gives them increasing validity and, if established as a known tactic for hormonal manipulation,
implications of this study can help students, teachers, and anyone else who may face lack of
confidence or nervousness before significant social interaction, which an estimated 75% of
people worldwide do (Black, 2018). Power posing may enable applicants to perform better in job
interviews, appear more confident when giving a speech, or even encourage more speculative
behavior, for good or for bad.
1. Elsesser, K. (2018, April 04). Power Posing Is Back: Amy Cuddy Successfully Refutes
Criticism. Retrieved March 30, 2019
2. Cuddy, A. J., Wilmuth, C. A., & Carney, D. R. (2012). The benefit of power posing
before a high-stakes social evaluation.
3. Carney, D. R., Cuddy, A. J., & Yap, A. J. (2010). Power posing: Brief nonverbal displays
affect neuroendocrine levels and risk tolerance. ​Psychological science​, ​21​(10),
4. Ranehill, E., Dreber, A., Johannesson, M., Leiberg, S., Sul, S., & Weber, R. A. (2015).
Assessing the robustness of power posing: No effect on hormones and risk tolerance in a
large sample of men and women. ​Psychological science​, ​26​(5), 653-656.
5. Simmons, J. P., & Simonsohn, U. (2017). Power posing: P-curving the evidence.
Psychological science​.
6. Cuddy, A. J., Schultz, S. J., & Fosse, N. E. (2018). P-curving a more comprehensive
body of research on postural feedback reveals clear evidential value for power-posing
effects: Reply to Simmons and Simonsohn (2017). ​Psychological science​, ​29​(4),
7. Black, R. (2018, June 4). Glossophobia (Fear of Public Speaking): Are You
Glossophobic? Retrieved March 30, 2019
Does enhancement of slow oscillation (SO) power during slow wave sleep using auditory closed-loop stimulation
improve multiple symptoms of ADHD?
Specific Aims
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health issues affecting children
and adults, affecting over 6 million children in the US (Visser et al., 2015). There is substantial evidence for sleep
pathology in ADHD, and short term enhancement of sleep via electrical stimulation has been shown to temporarily
attenuate certain deficits associated with the disorder. However, no investigation of the long term, ethologically relevant
effects of sleep enhancement on ADHD symptom severity has been done to date. The current treatment for ADHD relies
primarily on stimulant medications, which incompletely treat the disorder and have substantial side effect profiles. Thus,
there is an unmet demand for alternative treatments.
We propose sleep enhancement as a novel means of non-pharmacological treatment for ADHD. We will test
whether boosting slow oscillation (SO) power during nightly slow wave sleep (SWS) using auditory closed-loop stimulation
(ACLS) for 3 months reduces the severity of children’s ADHD symptoms in the long term. ACLS is a safe, easily
engineered method of SO enhancement that uses auditory stimulation delivered in-phase with the subjects own EEG
oscillations. We expect that enhancement of SO via ACLS will improve performance on neuropsychiatric assessments
used to diagnose ADHD, and will reduce the severity of symptoms measured by subjective reports from the patient, their
parents, and their teachers. Our specific aims are:
Aim 1a. Develop a wireless, wearable, unobtrusive, user friendly ACLS device that subjects can wear while they
sleep in their own beds.
Aim 1b. Determine if using our device to increase SO power over the long term can produce significant
improvements in our objective and subjective measures of ADHD symptom severity.
Our novel ACLS device, if it produces a clinical benefit, will provide a medication-free, noninvasive therapeutic
intervention for patients with ADHD that they can use in the comfort of their own homes. Furthermore, if modifying sleep
indeed produces reduction in symptoms, we provide further evidence for a sleep dysfunction etiology of ADHD.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health issues in children,
affecting between 5% and 11% of children in the US. ADHD is not a purely pediatric disorder, however, and has been
shown to frequently continue into adulthood (Visser et al., 2015). Individuals with ADHD show deficits in appropriate
allocation of attention, motivation, memory, executive functions, and inhibition of impulsive behaviors or movements which
impair functioning in school or work and result in difficulty with maintaining social relationships.
The most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD are stimulants, methylphenidate and amphetamine.
Therapy to teach cognitive and behavioral strategies is also available, but is most effective if used in combination with
drug treatment. However, as many as 17.5% of children diagnosed with ADHD are not receiving either behavioral or drug
treatment (Visser et al., 2015).
The available medications for ADHD have many side effects ranging from mild to severe, a limited time window of
effectiveness, and potential for abuse — and still fail to treat all aspects of the disorder. New research also shows that
chronic use of therapeutic doses of amphetamine, one of the most commonly prescribed drug for ADHD in the US (Visser
et al., 2015), may also be associated with degeneration of dopamine axons in striatum (Ricaurte et al., 2005). Many
parents choose not to treat their ADHD children for fear of these medications. Our study will be the first to introduce
sleep enhancement as an alternate or supplementary treatment for this disorder.
There is substantial evidence for sleep pathology in ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD overlap substantially with
those of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome (Konofal, Lecendreux, &
Cortese, 2010). Children and adults with ADHD have been repeatedly shown to sleep more poorly than otherwise
matched control children without ADHD by several objective and subjective measures of sleep (Cohen-Zion & AncoliIsrael, 2005). Preliminary evidence that enhancing sleep physiology may improve deficits found in ADHD individuals has
begun to surface. Boosting the strength, or spectral power, of the large, slow oscillations (SO) that occur during the
deepest stage of sleep, called slow wave sleep (SWS), via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown
to restore ADHD children’s long-term memory retention to normal levels (Prehn-Kristensen et al., 2014). The same
stimulation also improved performance on a behavioral inhibition task the morning following stimulation (Munz et al.,
2015). However, no investigation of the long term, clinically and ethologically relevant effects of sleep enhancement on
ADHD symptom severity has been done to date.
Auditory closed-loop stimulation (ACLS, Ngo et al. 2013) has been successfully used to boost SO power in
healthy subjects, and has been used to successfully increase overnight memory retention. We choose to use this method
over tDCS because it is simpler and equally effective. This project will design and test a safe, non-pharmacological
treatment for ADHD that can be easily implemented in patients’ homes, and provides additional evidence for a
sleep-dysfunction based mechanism of ADHD.
Interventions targeting sleep physiology have thus far been extremely difficult to implement outside of the lab
because sleep recording technology has not caught up to current innovations in wearable tech. We will devise a wearable
ACLS device to treat ADHD that can easily be used by patients at home, and allows them to sleep in their own beds. If
successful in treating ADHD, this technology provides a much needed alternative or supplement to medications and
therapy. Treating sleep may also provide increased clinical benefit for aspects of ADHD that medication improves the
least, such as impulsivity. Finally, a better understanding the relationship between sleep and ADHD opens avenues for
further exploration of more targeted therapeutics, preventative measures, or genetic interventions for ADHD, and paves
the way for further exploration of the role of sleep in other neuropsychiatric disorders.
To determine whether enhancing SO power can be an effective alternative or supplement to drug therapy in the
long term, we will administer ACLS every night for three months, and track subjects progress periodically throughout the
duration. We selected this three month study duration to give the treatment enough time for behavioral changes to be
detected, and to determine how benefits of this treatment may evolve over time.
ACLS (Ngo et al., 2013) uses EEG recordings to detect slow oscillations naturally generated during slow wave
sleep, the deepest stage of sleep. At the peak of these oscillations, a 50ms pulse of auditory pink noise is delivered via inear headphones. This in-phase auditory stimulation potentiates further slow oscillations. Our ACLS device will be a
wearable headset which includes a prefrontal EEG electrode, two earlobe clip electrodes for reference signal, and in-ear
headphones for delivery of the auditory stimulus. EEG computations will be accomplished by a 16-bit microcontroller unit
(MCU) coupled to a microcomputer (such as Raspberry Pi) or a 32-bit ARM-based MCU and a real-time digital signal
processing (DSP) chip located inside the headset. Whole-night EEG will be recorded to internal storage. We choose to
use ACLS rather than tDCS to boost SO power because it is technically simpler to engineer than a tDCS device, and
because patients and their caregivers will perceive it to be safer than tDCS: tDCS applies current directly to the patient’s
brain, and can cause motor or vestibular side effects. ACLS only requires the measurement of brain oscillations from
three electrode locations, and only requires delivery of auditory pink noise.
Subjects will be 160 children from the NYC area who have been diagnosed with ADHD. In an attempt to preserve
the significant effects of SO enhancement on ADHD children found by Munz (2015), Prehn-Kristensen (2014), and
colleagues, subjects will be between the ages of 10-14. In contrast to those works, however, we will include both boys (N
= 80) and girls (N = 80) in order to detect possible sexual dimorphisms in ADHD’s relationship to sleep.
We will recruit 80 (40 boys, 40 girls) unmedicated children with ADHD, and 80 (40 boys, 40 girls) who are
receiving stable drug treatment for ADHD. The patient or his/her parents, must already have decided not to medicate by
choice, and cannot cease medication solely to qualify for participation. We will include both medicated and unmedicated
children in this study to examine any interactions between our sleep treatment and medication status, but do not want to
deprive children of a therapeutic benefit from drugs unless they already choose to abstain. Subjects may withdraw from
participation at any time, for any reason.
Half of each group will be randomly assigned to an active stimulation (STIM) condition or a sham stimulation
(SHAM) condition (20 boys and 20 girls receiving medication; 20 boys and 20 girls not receiving medication in each
condition). Assignments will be double blinded. Subjects in the STIM condition will have ACLS applied during SWS as
outlined in the methods detailed by Ngo and colleagues (2013). Subjects in the SHAM condition will be administered a
control auditory stimulus during SWS that does not produce SO entrainment.
Before the start of the experiment, subjects, their parents/caregivers, and their teachers will be asked to complete
Conners symptom rating scales (Conners, Sitarenios & Parker, 1998). The responses will be collected online for
convenience, which we hope will increase subject retention. Subjects will be administered neuropsychological
assessments including a Go/No-Go (Munz et al., 2015) task and a Goldman Fristoe Woodcock Test of Auditory
Discrimination (TOAD) (Corbett & Stanczak, 1999) to obtain a baseline level of performance. Both measures were
selected for their wide usage by clinical practitioners to evaluate ADHD symptom severity. These tests and ratings will be
re-assessed three more times, once every 30 days until the end of the study. We will compare these measures of
impairment and symptom severity between subjects in the STIM and SHAM conditions, and examine any interactions with
sex or medication status. A significant improvement in symptoms between the STIM and SHAM group will indicate
whether our treatment has any benefit over placebo, determining whether ACLS is a feasible treatment for ADHD.
Expected Outcomes and Pitfalls:
We will not include healthy control children in this analysis. While ADHD children stand to benefit from any
additional therapeutic effects, this study provides no benefits to healthy children. Thus, there is no benefit to healthy
children that would outweigh any risk (though minimal) involved in participation. However, we cannot compare our results
to the effect of ACLS in control children, and this is a shortcoming of our study.
As the SHAM condition is akin to a placebo condition, some improvement in these subjects’ symptoms is
expected. However, we expect that children in the STIM condition will experience a greater improvement in ADHD
symptoms than children in the SHAM condition. If no difference in symptoms is detected, we can conclude that any effects
of sleep enhancement on ADHD are not large enough to be detectable on the scale of patients’ daily functioning, and this
type of sleep enhancement is not an appropriate therapeutic for ADHD.
Since this is the first study of its kind, we have no specific predictions about the timecourse of any benefit from
treatment, and no predictions on how treatment will differentially affect medicated and unmedicated children, or boys and
girls. This study will be somewhat exploratory, and we look forward to learning from any observed effects.
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