Dissertation dilemma

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DrFurbs
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Dissertation dilemma

Post by DrFurbs » Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:21 am

October is my final year, doing very well and sitting on a upper 2:1, so a 1st could be likely. Any ways, I wish to research something along the lines of childhood victimization as a predictor of muscle dsymophia or mental health issues. Kinda unsure atm.

Am i expected to research something that hasn't been done before or is my tutors looking for anything so long as its well written and completed properly. What kind of areas should I be looking at? Im interested in mental health but seeing as Im a gym nut i would like to combine them both.

Also, i have access to quite a lot of members who are body builders and the like who use drugs, could I write my dissertation about that? Im kinda worried that my final year project could mess up any chances I have of other developments or interviews as it might not be relevant to what it is Im applying for.

best wishes.

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othello
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Post by othello » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:20 pm

Hi DrFurbs,

First of all people do their dissertations in a variety of areas and while it might make you stand out for a particular post not having done something in a specific area wont rule you out. For example my undergrad dissertation was more health psych ish but i got jobs in ID, mental health and neuropsych afterwards. Also i think you need to think about things such as how feasable it would be to do the type of research you are thinking of in the time you have and about the constraints ethics boards might put on you. E.g. you may know a lot of body builders who do drugs but how willing would they be to complete questionnaires with personal info for you...particularly if you know them on a personal level..? Also, I think a good idea can be to look at theories in the general area you are thinking of and work from there...

Hope that helps a little.

DrFurbs
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Post by DrFurbs » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:51 pm

Thanks alot that clears things up somewhat. One other question; would you happen to know if a good book that details what I should be doing regarding my dissertation?

Ive already purchased the book as recommended by this site on how to reach a first but since reading it I was doing all it was saying anyways..,nearly all my work is 70%+

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that_guy_
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Post by that_guy_ » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:18 pm

If you're looking for a good text in relation to you UG dissertation I found the following quite helpful:

Your Undergraduate Psychology Project: A BPS Guide by Mark Forshaw

DrFurbs
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Post by DrFurbs » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:15 am

thx, just ordered said book!

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Re: Dissertation dilemma

Post by Ruthie » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:04 am

DrFurbs wrote:October is my final year, doing very well and sitting on a upper 2:1, so a 1st could be likely. Any ways, I wish to research something along the lines of childhood victimization as a predictor of muscle dsymophia or mental health issues. Kinda unsure atm.
TBH, I think that would be very ambitious for an undergraduate project. Recruiting sufficient numbers of participants would be challenging and there would be the ethical question around recruiting participants you know personally.
Am i expected to research something that hasn't been done before or is my tutors looking for anything so long as its well written and completed properly. What kind of areas should I be looking at? Im interested in mental health but seeing as Im a gym nut i would like to combine them both.
They will want something that is well written and well executed. Novelty isn't essential at undergraduate level. You could look at a question around exercise habits and mental health and do an online study? Online studies tend to maximise recruitment, which is very handy.
Also, i have access to quite a lot of members who are body builders and the like who use drugs, could I write my dissertation about that?
If there are any bodybuilding web forums that you could recruit from, then an online study would be potentially viable here. However, if I was on an ethics committee, I'd be concerned about you asking personal contacts such personal questions, whether you would have an obligation to pass on that information (given that using drugs presents a rish to self and potentially others)....do it anonymously online and that somewhat alleviates that. You'll recruit more if you can offer an incentive.
Im kinda worried that my final year project could mess up any chances I have of other developments or interviews as it might not be relevant to what it is Im applying for.
The topic of your final year project isn't important. Interviewers know that you have limited opportunities in terms of subject matter and what is feasible in a short time frame. So long as you can demonstrate that you can develop a research question and then carry out and write up a study, that is all that matters. I got straight on to a PhD in an entirely different area than my final year project straight from my undergrad degree. It really didn't matter.

Ruthie

DrFurbs
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Post by DrFurbs » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:42 pm

Ruthie thank you very much, thats cleared some issues for me. Im decided to press a head with my plans. Regarding gathering information. I plan to put my survey on surveymonkey.com and post it on a very well known body building site that has members in the 10,000s with the majority using drugs so any ethical concerns will be negated here.

I do think I have a viable project here and maybe it is a tad ambitious, but that doesnt scare me. Im actually looking to start it now.

:)

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Post by Ruthie » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:58 pm

In your shoes, I would be having a chat with the chair of the ethics committee to find out what they would recommend in terms of any ethics around your study as there will be issues of recruiting people who use drugs. I don't think it is a problem personally, but ethics committees are funny creatures sometimes!

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