Your task is to describe a hypothetical empirical study related to education psychology. In your study description you need to:
- Specify the main research question, the null and alternative hypotheses, and name the dependent and the independent variable(s). (5 points)
Over seventy per cent of university students report learning and task completion delays (Kuftyak, 2022). Time is a resource that cannot be increased, and time management heavily relies on self-management. It concerns identifying the most resourceful and rewarding way to utilise the equal time afforded to every student. The primary objective of time management is to enhance the quality of activities performed over a limited time (Hayat et al., 2020). Prioritising tasks is central to effectively managing time. The academic prosperity of university students is reliant on their capacity to efficiently use time (Svartdal et al., 2020). However, Pathak & Joshi (2017) demonstrated procrastination as a prevailing phenomenon with numerous detrimental implications, especially in time management that may become a significant hindrance to productivity.
Postgraduates and Time Management
Postgraduate education psychology programmes are increasingly demanding, and students are required to acquire the necessary knowledge for future practice. Time management is a fundamental competence and skill for psychology students (Razali et al., 2018). Balancing the chaotic professional settings of psychologists and the overwhelming academic environment can be frazzling for most postgraduate education psychology students. Therefore, postgraduate students are expected to demonstrate exceptional time management skills and varying strategies.
Academic stress is also a prevalent phenomenon with significant implications for students’ academic achievement (Alvarez Sainz et al., 2019). Education psychology students often face immense stressors throughout their academic endeavours that take a toll on their physical and mental health. Bedewy & Gabriel (2015) attributed academic stress to an increased course load, long classes, teaching methods, and competition among students. There are limited studies on the time management strategies and perceived stress of education psychology postgraduates, especially concerning procrastination.
With the above research in mind, the purpose of this study is to examine the effects of time management intervention on perceived stress of education psychology postgraduates. Moreover, possible effects of procrastination on time management and stress level are also examined.
Is it possible for a time management intervention to reduce perceived stress among education psychology postgraduates?
90 participants are chosen and using convenience sampling, are split into groups containing about 30-45 students. Prior to the experiment, each participant is requested to complete a Procrastination Assessment Scale (PAS; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984) to assess the prevalence of and reasons for student procrastination.
Participants of a control group receive no time management training, whereas an intervention group receive time management training. The time management training includes task prioritizing activities, such as daily management plan (intervention group A) and weekly management plan (intervention group B). This training encourages students strive for goal achievement and resist distractions by tracking time usage along with the priority, status and due dates of each task. Each time after submitting either a daily management plan or a weekly management plan within six weeks, participants need to complete the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS; Cohen et al., 1983), which is a 10-item questionnaire to assess students’ stress levels.
The time management training of education psychology postgraduates has no in influence on their perceived stress level.
H1: Participants receiving the time management training (intervention group A & B) are expected to show lower level of perceived stress than the control group.
H2: Participants adopting daily time management plan of the training (intervention group A) are expected to show lower level of perceived stress than those adopting weekly time management plan due to the possible effects of procrastination.
|Dependent Variable||Perceived Stress of Education Psychology Postgraduates|
|Independent Variables||Time Management Training: Daily management plan Weekly management plan|
|Confounding Variable||Procrastination Level|
- Describe two possible designs of this study, one where the researcher could conduct an independent ANOVA, and another where they could conduct a repeated measures ANOVA. (6 points)
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) is a common statistical test that can be employed to contrast the mean scores from different categories in an experiment (Quirk, 2016).
Independent or between-groups test concerns comparison between participant groups (Kim, 2017). A one-way independent ANOVA is ideal for studies involving one dependent variable, one independent (with 3 or more conditions), and each participant engages in one condition.
In this hypothetical study, a one-way independent ANOVA approach can be utilised to analyse the effect of implementing time management strategies instruction on level of perceived stress among education psychology postgraduates.
To test the effect that time management strategy (independent variable) has on the stress that is perceived by the participants, three versions of time management strategy are created: no time management plan, daily time management plan and weekly time management plan.
90 participates in this study are divided into three groups (30 students each). The first group is a control group without time management training; Intervention group A and Intervention group B are randomly assigned to adopt Daily Management Plan and Weekly Plan strategies for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, all participants are required to complete the PSS to assess their stress levels and calculate the total stress score (dependent variable).
The ANOVA calculator is used to compare the means of the independent samples of these three groups and generate the F test statistic and the corresponding p-value. If the p-value is less than 0.05, the null hypothesis can be rejected, inferring that the results did not occur by chance. This proves that there is a statistically significant difference between the total stress scores and the time management strategies.
Contrarily, a one-way repeated measures ANOVA is employed to determine whether statistical variance exists between three or more categories in which the same participants participate (Sawyer, 2009).
In this hypothetical study, this approach can be utilised to compare the total stress scores of the participants who adopt different time management strategies. That is, when the same participants adopt all the time management strategies.
Participants are asked to create a time management plan in which outlines and indicates how much time to spend on each specific task for task planning, development and completion. To test the effect that time management strategies (independent variable) have on the stress that is perceived by the participants, three versions of time management strategy are created: no time management plan, daily time management plan and weekly time management plan.
The experiment is divided into three stages: Week 1 to Week 2 (Stage One), Week 3 to Week 4 (Stage Two) and Week 5 to Week 6 (Stage Three). In stage one, all 90 participants are not required for any time management training. In stage two, 45 group A participants are assigned randomly to complete a daily management plan, while another 45 group B participants are required to complete a weekly management plan. In the stage three, group A participants are assigned to complete a weekly management plan, and group B participants need to complete a daily management plan.
Participants are requested to complete the PSS after each stage to measure their perception of stress. The total stress score is counted and taken as the dependent variable.
The convention is that the p-value should be smaller than 0.05 for the F-ratio to be significant. If this is the case (i.e. p < 0.05) we reject the null hypothesis, inferring that the results didn’t occur by chance (or as the result of sampling error) but are instead due to the effect of the independent variable. Bonferroni post hoc tests can indicate if the stress score of participants who adopt daily time management plan reduced significantly (i.e. p < .05) compared to other two groups.
- Describe a third study design where a multiple regression could be beneficial and explain its comparative advantages against the ANOVAs in (b). (5 points)
Regression models are utilised to investigate the relationship between variables (Mertler et al., 2021). It is used to predict values of one variable when given values of the others. Multiple linear regression determines the relationship between a dependent variable and two or more independent variables (Thrane, 2019).
In this hypothetical study, a multiple regression analysis is used to identify whether time-management strategy and procrastination are predictors of perceived success. The three variables are:
- Perceived Stress – the outcome variable (DV)
- Time Management Strategy (control group without intervention, weekly management plan and daily management plan) – a predictor variable (IV1)
- Procrastination – a predictor variable (IV2)
To investigate this, each participant is requested to complete a PAS to assess the procrastination level. All 90 participants are divided into three groups: control group (30 participants) without time management training (Group A), 30 students adopt daily management plan (Group B) and 30 students adopt weekly management plan (Group C). Each participant is requested to complete the PSS after six weeks to measure their stress score.
The total stress score and mean procrastination are collected and counted to determine if time management strategy and procrastination level predict perceived stress level for the future education psychology postgraduates.
To interpret the results, firstly, state the proportion of variance. This is represented by the statistic R2 and is a number between 0 and 1. Secondly, check whether or not time management strategy and procrastination are significant predictors (p<.001) of the perceived stress. Finally, find out how the coefficients be used to create and equation to make predictions and which predictor variable is better at predicting the outcome variable (which has the most extreme t-value or significant p-value).
Three are two key reasons for opting for multiple regression over ANOVA (Huang et al., 2017). The most compelling reason for seeking multiple regression over ANOVA in the hypothetical study is that the design is conceptual rather than statistical. Additionally, ANOVA makes researchers artificially reduce repeatedly measured variables into categorical variables.
Multiple linear regression is ideal for identifying the extent of the relationship between the variables. For instance, it can be used to determine the strength of the relationship between the independent variables (time management, procrastination, and enrolment status) and the dependent variable (academic stress) in the hypothetical study. It is also suitable for identifying the value of the dependent variable (academic stress) at a given value of the independent variable (procrastination).
- Briefly explain factor analysis and describe a situation where it would be useful in your study design, and why. This part of the assignment does not require for factor analysis to be a typical analysis to address your research question. (4 points)
Watkins (2018) defined factor analysis as a collection of methods utilised to explore how underlying constructs instigate responses from measured variables. Factor analysis can be either exploratory or confirmatory. Exploratory factor analysis seeks to define the nature of constructs dictating given responses (Willmer et al., 2019). On the other hand, confirmatory factor analysis observes a discernible pattern in the set of constructs that influence responses. Factor analysis is founded on the Common Factor Model presented in the figure below (Drisko, 2013). The model dictates that common underlying factors partially influence observed responses (measures). The nature of the relationship between individual factors and measures varies in that a factor’s influence on a measure varies for its impact on others.
Factor analysis is carried out by observing covariances or correlations patterns in the available measures (Ramrakhiani et al., 2021). Bartholomew et al. (2011) suggest that measurable and observable variables can be reduced to fewer latent variables that share a common variance and are unobservable, which is known as reducing dimensionality. Highly correlated measures are increasingly likely to influence similar factors, irrespective of the type of correlation.
Exploratory factor analysis can be employed in the hypothetical study to determine factors influencing given measures. For instance, this factor analysis would be ideal for identifying the number of different factors leading to academic stress and to analyse which variables go together. Therefore, the perceived stress scale would be administered on 90 education psychology postgraduates to identify the number of factors related to it. All the scale items will then be arranged under those identified factors through the Rotated Component Martrix.
Factor analysis would also be suitable for analysing the strength of the relationship between observed measures and individual factors, especially that between time management strategies and academic stress. Various common applications for exploratory factor analysis are crucial in the hypothetical study. This includes determining questionnaire item groupings, determining a measurement scale’s dimensionality, and determining features defining given categories.
- Start to work on a poster including only the introduction and methods sections for the proposed study, together with a short elevator pitch. The idea is to convince people that your study is worth funding! You do not need to prepare the actual poster, rather, you should report the text (and images) that you would use. You do not need to worry about explaining how text (and images) would be arranged in the poster, you should simply provide them. (5 points)
Higher education can be a stressful period in a student’s life due to various possible stressors, including separating from family, heavy curriculum and changes in lifestyle (Racic et al., 2017). A recent study suggest that young adults are particularly vulnerable to the impact of stress and their coping mechanisms for stress can easily be stretched to a breaking point (Bhargava & Trivedi, 2018). Academic stress has been identified as the main cause of student suicide. According to Quiliano and Quiliano (2020) indicated in their report that suicide remains the second leading causes of death among students in American, and 40 per cent of them have signs of severe depression (Reddy et al., 2018).
Psychology postgraduate students are also exposed to increased stress when they attempt to overcome significant obstacles when coping with academic-related tasks and performing their off-campus duties with limited resources at their exposure. External pressure from work and failure to meet unrealistic academic standards may lead students to blame themselves for the failure. Cho & Hayter (2020) observed that their student participants experienced significantly high stress, while Zegeye et al. (2018) found low levels of stress among students. Although such differences are attributed to factors such as marital status, time management behaviours play a significant role in determining the stress levels of postgraduate students, which is the primary focus of the proposed study. Time management skills and procrastination have rarely been examined as causes of academic stress, despite various signs pointing to the concepts as viable stressors. The primary objective of the proposed study will be to determine the relationship between time management and academic stress among education psychology postgraduates.
The present study is based on quantitative research design. The population of the study consists of education psychology postgraduate students. The samples of the study involved 90 students divided in one control group (without intervention) and two intervention groups named A and B. Self-evaluation of student procrastination is performed before the implementation of the time management training. Both intervention groups are given the training in which group A is assigned a daily time management strategy and group B is designated a weekly time management strategy. The time management plan is a task prioritization method for guiding daily or weekly schedule in order to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. After six weeks, the perceived stress questionnaire is employed to measure the stress level.
A one-way ANOVA is used to find out if there is a difference in the perceived stress levels per time management strategy. To find out the best predictor of perceived stress, this study also adopts multiple regression to testify the relationship between time management training and perceived stress levels. Moreover, with the score of each student’s procrastination, the multiple regression is also used to to analyse the effect of procrastination in students’ time management strategy and their perceived stress level.
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