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Research Methods for Applied Psychology Assignment 

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Introduction

Background

There have been numerous cases of racial encounters that were highlighted through media but the numbers are not limited if we survey Asian students about their treatment at universities in the UK. Some racial encounters are negligible but still have a minor impact on Asian students. When accumulated these incidents can have some significant impact on the motivation and academic performance of Asian students (Song and McCarthy, 2018). However, the impact might not be grave but is empirical to study for determining the perspective of Asian students about their experience regarding their expectation from the universities in the country and how it changed due to racial discrimination, they faced. Human behaviour is dynamic and therefore this study has a wider scope that enables applying of appropriate theories and drawing a conclusion based on judicious and authentic interpretation of analysis (Flora and Flake, 2017).

Research question- How do racial encounters influence the academic performance of Asian students in universities of the UK?

Research aim- To study the impact of racial discrimination on the academic performance of Asian students in the universities of the UK

Research objectives-

  1. To determine factors of racial discrimination empirical in influencing the mental health of Asian students.
  2. To study the influence of the factors on the academic performance of Asian Students.
  3. To interpret the degree of responsiveness of academic performance of Asian students by racial encounters.

Importance of study

This study will highlight the key factors that are significant to the formulation of the perspective of Asian students regarding behaviour and treatment of themselves by their white peers and how it has impacted their objective, which is education in the country. This study will facilitate deep and comprehensive knowledge in the practitioner's mind by enabling him/her to use various psychological theories and methodologies to study the human behaviour and impact of social issues on non-native students of the country. The study is based on incidents that have taken place over decades and surveying for the primary source of research. This will help the study and the practitioner to attain good relevancy and accuracy throughout the analysis and applying theories. This study will also picture the social paradigm of UK universities and how it has changed over the past few decades (Haig, 2014).

Theory

Racial discrimination of Asian students in the UK universities has been subject to various factors such as presumptions of domestic students and past colonial history of Asian countries. Asian students such as Chinese and Indian students have reported racial remarks and treatment on their campuses. In the words of Haig (2014), the behavioural changes towards academics have been due to negative experiences of Asian students and therefore it is inevitable to look into the matter holistically and judiciously without any bias. views that there has been a significant reduction in the racial encounter cases in universities and college campuses across the UK. However, the existence of racial discrimination has not yet been completely eradicated or addressed effectively by the country at the macro level and universities at the micro level. The implementation of their programs or rules and regulations has not adequately addressed the issue. The most significant factor is the racial encounters by their teachers. Visram (2021) states the reason why this factor has direct as well as indirect influence on the minds of Asian students. The racial remarks or treatment by teachers are perceived as hurtful and embarrassing by Asian students because they are not in a situation to reflect and respond to such incidents immediately. Another reason is the access that native and other staff members gain to mock or racially make their non-native peers feel inferior as their remarks are backed up by the discrimination done by teachers. The research will use the Behavioral theory of psychology which is based on observation of participants and their statements. Behavioural theory helps in linking the psychological theories to the study matter. Behavioural psychology will be applied in the context of racial encounters' impact on the performance of Asian students as it will facilitate the role of an environmental factor (social discrimination) on the study pattern on Asian students. The behavioural pattern of Asian students respective of their academics remains ambiguous in past studies. However, this might be due to ineffective surveys or the inability of students to provide true information about their experience. The behaviour of these students is observed. Haig (2014) states that many Asian students have outperformed their peers but many struggles to keep up with the pace of their educational course. Numerous students have reportedly opted out of their courses because they have been significantly affected by the unequal treatment and racial remarks. This theory implies that social factors such as different cultures and norms have inculcated a feeling of an outsider among Asian students and racial discrimination has added to their dejection. Many have adjusted to the social paradigm of the nation but racial encounters harm these students and have a significant but implicit role in impeding their academic performance. Visram (2021) also propels that these racial encounters have led to conservatism among Asian students who are not able to ask questions in class and suffer from inadequate knowledge. Xie et al., (2021) opine that Asian students have been subject to racial discrimination due to cultural differences and differences in habits and perceptions. The noise due to ineffective communication between teachers and Asian students has resulted in underperformance by these students. The behavioural theory also suggests that frequent periods of dejection, ambiguity, and anxiety have been reportedly increased owing to passive and active racial discrimination of these students. Fergus (2017) states that the performance of Asian students is independent of their racial encounters and there is no direct link between the underperformance of Asian students and the treatment they get on campuses. There has been a long list of Asian students who have outperformed despite facing racial discrimination and therefore, it cannot be said that it has a grave or even mild impact on Asian students. Moreover, the cases of racial encounters have significantly reduced over the past few years. Xie et al., (2021) defy the statement by stating that the exceptional performance of some Asian students should not mislead the impact of racial encounters faced by these students because the resilience of those students must not be confused as a factor independent of racial encounters. Fergus (2017) supports the argument by highlighting that socializing is affected by racial encounters leading Asian students to feel dejected and conservative that impedes their holistic development and performance in academics. The null hypothesis derived thereupon is the social impedance of racial encounters leads Asian students to lose their motivation and affects their mental ability to perform at their full potential in academics. This hypothesis includes the behaviour of Asian students that makes them lose their focus from education as their mental well-being is affected by social ineffectiveness to form reliable networks and remain demotivated (Lahiri, 2017).

Methodology

Research approach

The research approach of this study is based on a mixed research approach as it is based on qualitative data drawn based on quantitative analysis results. The qualitative analysis of behavioural patterns will help in assessing the impact of social impedance consequential to racial encounters of Asian students and how it affects their performance in academics. Qualitative research will enable the study to analyze the psychological impact of such practices in the society and how different factor plays its role in shaping the perception and motivation of Asian students (Lahiri, 2017). The quantitative approach of the research is significant for establishing a relationship between factors of the subject and realizing how grave their impact can be.

Data collection

For data collection, it was important to gain access to reliable sources as the human behaviour to be studied will be ascertained based on the sensitivity of the topic and the dynamism of human behaviour. Primary sources were chosen among the two alternatives and a survey was conducted among 50 Asian students of the university in the UK. The survey questionnaire is appended at the end of the report. The students were approached and their consent was received in writing before publishing or using the findings in the research. Moreover, ethical considerations were backed up by ensuring their anonymity is maintained throughout the survey. Their names and other credentials will be concealed and the report will be proof-checked by them on completion. The limitation of this approach is that some participants do not coordinate well due to social fear. The rechecking of the findings takes time as these participants can modify their statements at the last minute (Fergus, 2017).

Data analysis

For data analysis, the model used was a regressive analysis that will facilitate the linkage between the factors and the outcome. The regressive analysis is vital when the research depends upon a cause-and-effect relationship and this approach makes it clearer and more lucid. The regressive analysis model is a mathematical formula that determines the impact of variables in degrees and the changes in the outcome (Bürkner and Vuorre, 2019). This helps to determine which variables must be studied meticulously and which can be ignored as they remain inelastic. Using a multiple regression model, we can determine the factors and their impact on the psychology of Asian students that might have affected their academic performance. Here the first factor (X1) is the treatment of Asian students by their teachers, the second factor (X2) is the treatment of Asian students by non-teaching staff members, and the third factor (X3) is the treatment received by native students of the UK. The outcome of all these factors (Y1) is demotivation and dejection among Asian students leading them to focus ineffectively on their academics (Bürkner and Vuorre, 2019).

Result

The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of racial discrimination on the academic performance of Asian students in the UK. This chapter reviews and analyse the data collected from the primary method. 50 respondents participated in the survey. Furthermore, there were three measures involved in the study, namely discrimination done by the professor, by other students, and by University's staff. The questions in the survey are framed in such a way to produce the data that could be quantified and analysed using regression analysis. The survey questionnaire is attached in appendix 1.

It is very important to determine whether or not the questionnaire and data are consistent and reliable. There are instruments like Cronbach’s Alpha that is used to measure the scale of reliability. A high value of alpha means high consistency. Cronbach’s alpha can be positive or negative. If the value of α is greater than 0.9, then consistency is considered to be excellent. If the value of α falls between 0.9 and 0.8, then the consistency is good. If α is less than 0.5, then this is considered to be unacceptable.

Respondents

Ques 3

Ques 4

Ques 5

Ques 6

Ques 7

Ques 8

Total

R1

3

1

3

2

3

3

15

R2

3

1

3

3

4

4

18

R3

3

3

3

3

4

4

20

R4

4

3

3

3

3

4

20

R5

4

1

4

3

4

4

20

R6

2

2

1

4

3

2

14

R7

4

2

4

3

3

1

17

R8

4

2

4

2

2

4

18

R9

4

1

4

2

2

4

17

R10

3

3

4

3

3

4

20

R11

4

4

3

3

3

4

21

R12

4

2

4

3

2

1

16

R13

1

2

3

3

1

4

14

R14

3

3

4

4

1

4

19

R15

4

2

1

4

1

4

16

R16

1

4

2

2

2

3

14

R17

1

3

1

4

2

4

15

R18

2

4

2

2

3

4

17

R19

4

3

4

4

3

4

22

R20

3

1

3

3

4

3

17

R21

3

1

2

4

3

3

16

R22

4

1

1

3

2

2

13

R23

3

3

1

4

2

4

17

R24

4

4

2

3

2

3

18

R25

4

2

4

3

3

2

18

R26

3

2

3

2

3

2

15

R27

3

4

3

4

4

3

21

R28

4

2

4

3

3

4

20

R29

3

2

3

4

2

2

16

R30

4

1

3

4

1

1

14

R31

4

1

2

4

3

4

18

R32

3

1

3

4

2

4

17

R33

1

4

1

4

2

4

16

R34

2

4

1

3

3

3

16

R35

4

3

1

4

4

2

18

R36

3

1

1

4

3

1

14

R37

4

1

2

4

3

3

17

R38

1

1

2

3

3

2

12

R39

4

1

3

4

3

2

17

R40

3

1

3

5

4

3

19

R41

1

1

3

6

4

3

18

R42

4

1

4

4

1

4

18

R43

1

1

2

3

3

2

12

R44

4

1

3

3

2

2

15

R45

3

4

2

3

1

1

14

R46

1

1

3

4

1

1

11

R47

3

4

3

3

3

1

17

R48

1

1

2

2

3

1

10

R49

3

4

1

4

2

2

16

R50

2

3

2

3

1

2

13

  • Vi = 1.793
  • Vt = 7.15
  • K = 6
  • α= 0.86

Since the value of α turns out to be 0.86, this means that the data is reliable and consistent. Gareis and Jalayer (2018) state that if the data is reliable, there is a significant chance of variance. Three variables have been taken into account. The XI is the number of times discrimination faced by students from professors' side in the past three years. X2 is the number of times discrimination faced by students in the past three years from other students. X3 is the number of times discrimination faced by students in the past three years from the staff of the university. All three are the independent variables involved in this study. In contrast to this, the GPA of students is the measure of academic performance and it is the dependent variable 'Y' in the study. The responses of students are shown in the table below:-

Respondents

GPA (Y)

No. of times Discrimination done by professors in past three years (X1)

No. of times Discrimination done by another student in past three years (X2)

No. of times Discrimination done by staff members in past three years (X3)

R1

3.5

2

1

2

R2

3.9

3

3

3

R3

4.2

4

4

4

R4

4.1

2

2

2

R5

3.9

4

4

4

R6

3.5

0

3

3

R7

4.2

5

5

0

R8

4.3

6

1

1

R9

3.4

4

2

4

R10

3.9

3

3

3

R11

3.6

5

5

5

R12

3.6

4

4

0

R13

3.8

6

6

2

R14

3.6

4

4

2

R15

3.9

0

3

3

R16

4

1

1

2

R17

4

0

3

3

R18

4.2

1

1

1

R19

4.3

3

3

3

R20

3.4

4

4

4

R21

3.9

4

4

4

R22

3.6

0

2

1

R23

3.9

0

3

3

R24

4.6

2

2

2

R25

4.5

1

1

1

R26

4.2

3

3

3

R27

4.2

2

2

2

R28

4.3

2

2

2

R29

3.4

4

4

4

R30

3.9

1

1

0

R31

3.6

1

1

1

R32

3.7

1

1

1

R33

4.2

0

4

4

R34

4.3

0

4

4

R35

3.4

0

3

1

R36

3.9

0

3

0

R37

3.6

1

1

1

R38

3.9

1

1

1

R39

3.6

3

3

3

R40

3.9

2

2

2

R41

4.6

4

4

4

R42

4.5

5

5

1

R43

4.2

2

2

1

R44

4.2

2

2

1

R45

4.1

1

1

0

R46

3.9

2

2

0

R47

3.5

2

2

0

R48

4.2

1

1

0

R49

4.3

0

4

1

R50

4.1

1

1

1

Regression Analysis of X1 and Y

SUMMARY OUTPUT

Regression Statistics

Multiple R

0.005240307

R Square

2.74608E-05

Adjusted R Square

-0.0208053

Standard Error

0.33803505

Observations

50

ANOVA

 

df

SS

MS

F

Significance F

Regression

1

0.000151

0.00015

0.00131

0.971189

Residual

48

5.484849

0.11426

Total

49

5.485

     
 

Coefficients

Standard Error

t Stat

P-value

Lower 95%

Upper 95%

Lower 95.0%

Upper 95.0%

Intercept

3.952189048

0.076946

51.36316

1.3E-43

3.797479

4.106899

3.797479

4.106899

X Variable 1

-0.00100415

0.027658

-0.03631

0.971189

-0.05661

0.054605

-0.05661

0.054605

From the regression analysis between X1 and Y, the value of the correlation coefficient (R square) is 0.0052 which is close to 0 and this means the relationship between GPA and discrimination done by professors does not exist. Asian students who have faced discrimination in the past three years from their professors do not get affected much and its consequences on their academic performance are very meagre.

Regression Analysis of X2 and Y

SUMMARY OUTPUT

Regression Statistics

Multiple R

0.024862

R Square

0.000618

Adjusted R Square

-0.0202

Standard Error

0.337935

Observations

50

ANOVA

 

df

SS

MS

F

Significance F

Regression

1

0.00339

0.00339

0.029689

0.863922

Residual

48

5.48161

0.1142

Total

49

5.485

     
 

Coefficients

Standard Error

t Stat

P-value

Lower 95%

Upper 95%

Lower 95.0%

Upper 95.0%

Intercept

3.966398

0.106493

37.24578

4.46E-37

3.75228

4.180515

3.75228

4.180515

X Variable 1

-0.00616

0.035777

-0.17231

0.863922

-0.0781

0.06577

-0.0781

0.06577

From the analysis of X2 and Y, it can be noticed that the value of the coefficient of correlation is 0.02 which means that there is a positive relation between discrimination done by other students and the GPA of Asian students. However, it is a very weak relationship but it exists. This means that the behaviour of native students triggers the Asian students to perform well and prove their intellectual and cognitive abilities. This is a psychological phenomenon where self-respect plays a significant role.

Regression Analysis of X3 and Y

SUMMARY OUTPUT

Regression Statistics

Multiple R

0.089667

R Square

0.00804

Adjusted R Square

-0.01263

Standard Error

0.336678

Observations

50

ANOVA

 

df

SS

MS

F

Significance F

Regression

1

0.0441

0.0441

0.389053

0.535751

Residual

48

5.4409

0.113352

Total

49

5.485

     
 

Coefficients

Standard Error

t Stat

P-value

Lower 95%

Upper 95%

Lower 95.0%

Upper 95.0%

Intercept

3.992

0.082469

48.40611

2.12E-42

3.826185

4.157815

3.826185

4.157815

X Variable 1

-0.021

0.033668

-0.62374

0.535751

-0.08869

0.046694

-0.08869

0.046694

From the analysis of X3 and Y, the relationship between discrimination done by the staff of the university and the academic performance is positive. This means the discrimination has a slightly positive impact on the performance of Asian students. In other words, any event of discrimination triggers the performance of Asian students. They tend to perform well when they get criticized by any staff members or get insulted. 

Discussion

Based on the analysis of the discrimination and its impact on the performance of Asian students, it can be said that they tend to presume discrimination as an obstacle and a challenge. They perform well when they receive derogatory remarks based on their colour, beliefs, appearance, or cultural background. However, the research has determined that the impact of discrimination received from the professors does not affect academic performance. However, if it comes from other students or university's staff, it tends to increase the performance of Asian students.

The outcomes of this research defy the findings of other researchers like Lester et al (2018) and Yeo et al (2019) who claimed that experiencing discrimination can result in stress among students and can cause stress disorders. Students who experience discrimination from their teachers can have a negative attitude towards the course and the university and this could also affect their academic performance. However, the perception and psychological stability of Westerners are different from those of Asian students. Asians get motivated by the obstacles and challenges (Wong et al., 2014). Hence, any incident of discrimination could increase their performance in studies. This is proved right in the case of discrimination received from other students and staff of the university. The GPA of students who have faced such unethical behaviour in the past has increased. This means the academic motivation increases if people from the same class discriminate against Asian students. Kiang et al (2016) mentioned that discrimination develops toughness among students and this motivates them and increases their dedication to achieve higher grades. Hence, the null hypothesis is denied after the data analysis that Asian students lose their motivation and affects their mental ability to perform at their full potential in academics. In the case of Asians, discrimination either does not affect them or increase their motivation to perform well in class by making them tough and motivate them to take discrimination as a social challenge to prove their worth and intelligence.

Conclusion

This study began with a discussion about the impact of discrimination on the academic performance of Asian students. These include Taiwanese, Chinese, Indian, Pakistanis, and Japanese majorly. The null hypothesis was to prove that discrimination demotivates students to perform well in class. However, based on the primary data collection and analysis, it was determined that discrimination from professors hardly has any role in increasing or decreasing the academic performance of students. But, if discrimination comes from other students or staff members, then it tends to improve the academic performance of Asians. Hence, the null hypothesis was defied after the analysis.

References

Bürkner, P.C. and Vuorre, M., 2019. Ordinal regression models in psychology: A tutorial. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science2(1), pp.77-101.

Fergus, E., 2017. The integration project among white teachers and racial/ethnic minority youth: Understanding bias in school practice. Theory into Practice56(3), pp.169-177.

Flora, D.B. and Flake, J.K., 2017. The purpose and practice of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis in psychological research: Decisions for scale development and validation. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement49(2), p.78.

Gareis, E. and Jalayer, A., 2018. Contact effects on intercultural friendship between east Asian students and American domestic students. In Understanding international students from Asia in American Universities (pp. 83-106). Springer, Cham.

Haig, B.D., 2014. Investigating the psychological world: Scientific method in the behavioral sciences. MIT press.

Kiang, L., Witkow, M.R. and Thompson, T.L., 2016. Model minority stereotyping, perceived discrimination, and adjustment among adolescents from Asian American backgrounds. Journal of Youth and Adolescence45(7), pp.1366-1379.

Lahiri, S., 2017. South Asians in post-imperial Britain: decolonisation and imperial legacy. In British culture and the end of empire. Manchester University Press.

Lester, J.N., Wong, Y.J., O’Reilly, M. and Kiyimba, N., 2018. Discursive psychology: Implications for counseling psychology. The Counseling Psychologist46(5), pp.576-607.

Liu, T. and Wong, Y.J., 2018. The intersection of race and gender: Asian American men’s experience of discrimination. Psychology of Men & Masculinity19(1), p.89.

Song, X. and McCarthy, G., 2018. Governing Asian international students: The policy and practice of essentialising ‘critical thinking’. Globalisation, Societies and Education16(3), pp.353-365.

Stevens, C., Liu, C.H. and Chen, J.A., 2018. Racial/ethnic disparities in US college students’ experience: Discrimination as an impediment to academic performance. Journal of American college health66(7), pp.665-673.

Visram, R., 2021. The History of the Asian Community in Britain. Hachette UK.

Wong, Y.J., Tsai, P.C., Liu, T., Zhu, Q. and Wei, M., 2014. Male Asian international students’ perceived racial discrimination, masculine identity, and subjective masculinity stress: A moderated mediation model. Journal of Counseling Psychology61(4), p.560.

Xie, Y., Kirkwood, S., Laurier, E. and Widdicombe, S., 2021. Racism and misrecognition. British Journal of Social Psychology.

Yeo, H.T., Mendenhall, R., Harwood, S.A. and Huntt, M.B., 2019. Asian international student and Asian American student: Mistaken identity and racial microaggressions. Journal of International Students9(1), pp.39-65.

Appendix: Survey Questionnaire

  • What’s your gender?
  • What’s your native country?
  • Are you aware of the term “racial discrimination”? (rate between 1 to 4 wherein 1 is for never and 4 is for very often)
  • Have you ever faced racial discrimination in your life? (rate between 1 to 4 wherein 1 is for never and 4 is for very often)
  • Have you been treated unfairly by professors in your college?
  • How many times have you faced racial discrimination from professors in the past three years?
  • Have you been treated unfairly by other students?
  • How many times have you faced racial discrimination from other students in the past three years?
  • Have you been treated unfairly by the university staff members?
  • How many times have you faced racial discrimination from the staff in the past three years?
  • Do you believe racial discrimination affects the GPA of students? ( 1: don’t believe, 4: strongly believe)
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