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MSc Psychology Dissertation Planning Form Assignment Sample

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The uploaded dissertation planning document should include sufficient detail to allow constructive feedback from the dissertation supervisor. Students should therefore ensure that their dissertation planning document addresses the questions listed below. Total weightage: 15%.

  1. What is the rationale for my study (indicative word length 250 to 300 words)?

Personality provides the idea about the differences in the characteristic patterns of behaviour, feelings and thinking. It is observed that the thinking of the people depends highly on their personality traits and different people think in a different way about their future. In human adults the personality helps them to choose their favourable future options. According to the researchers there are five big personality traits extraversion, openness to experiences, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. These traits indicates that how the individual will think about their future perspectives. The individual who is having the personality trait of openness to experiences will be more open to check on new things and will try to approach different aspects of life and gain new experiences. Taking into account this fact the current research will include the study of the various themes related to the personality traits and the future-thinking approach of the adult humans. The development is a lifelong aspect including the personality development and people face various changes in their personality traits which indicates the differences thinking approach of the individuals. Herein the research sheds light on the relationship between the personality and the future thinking of the adult human beings. Here in the research also shed the light on the several dimensions of personality and its importance in the thinking approach of the human adults as the way people think about their future depends solely on the ways they think. The study of personality has a long history in the psychology which indicates that the personality development in the adults is the main reason behind the changes in the way of thinking and approaching for the future.

  1. What measures do I plan to use and why?

I plan to use different themes and viewpoints of the other researchers for conducting the following research, therefore, I tend to use thematic analysis which a secondary data collection method for conducting the research in an effective manner. The reason behind using this measure for conducting the research is that this method provides accurate idea about different aspects of the personality traits and the ways different researchers present the relationship between the thinking about future and the personality traits in human adults. This method is useful as it helps to gain variety of knowledge from the available data about the topic and analyse different viewpoints.

  1. What are my research questions and associated hypotheses (if appropriate)?

Research question:

My supervisor suggested to consider the following research question. But this question needs to be written concisely. Also, I need 2 more research questions:

1) Why different people approach differently towards their future?

2) What are the different personality traits and how they impact the decision-making of adults?

3) How different dimensions of personality changes affects the behaviour and futuristic thinking of the adults?

Question: How distance of past events affects decision-making as well as whether the distance of the events—both past and future ones- are affected in similar ways when it comes to choosing a particular amount of money.

The following research hypothesis will be considered for this research:

H1=Different people have different aspirations for their future and try to achieve their goals in a different manner.

H0=There is no such relationship between the thinking and the personality of the adults.

H2=There are 5 big personality traits which indicates the difference in the behavioral approach of the people.

H0=Personality brings no difference to the behavior of the adults and have no impact on the decision-making.

H3=The human adults have huge range of behavioral dimensions as stated by many psychological researchers which affects the path chosen by the individual for their future.

H0=There is no such difference in the thinking of the people depending on the personality.

  1. Who are the participants I plan to assess in this study, how many do I plan to include, why, when and where?

The participants I plan to assess in this research are the relevant research papers which are presented by different scholars and researchers in the field of psychology. I plan to include three research articles in the form of thematic analysis which indicates that participants will be theme 1, theme 2 and theme 3. 

  1. What do I predict to find (it is generally useful to include clearly labelled figures in this section)? Or in the case of qualitative approaches, how do I plan to explore the data associated with my research question(s)?

With the help of this research, I predict to find that there are several personality traits which shows the difference in the decision-making ability of the people. This research will help me to analyse the actual relationship between the personality and the future-thinking of the people. I also predict to find the affect of different personality dimensions on the approach of the adults. It is also considered that the personality of an individual plays a very important role in establishing the difference from the other individuals and their approach towards the future.

  1. If I would find these results, what will I be able to say in terms of conclusions and implications of the findings (indicative word length 250 to 300 words)?

If I find these results, I will be able to conclude that personality plays a very essential role in understanding the behaviour of the individual and his or her approach towards the future. The results would also conclude that there are various types of personalities and different individual possess different way of thinking. The results of the research will help to understand the reasons for changes in the way of thinking. This research will also conclude that the personality development in the adulthood leads to the different paths chosen by the individual. Different individual chose different way of decision-making and it is very much dependent on the personality of the person. I will also be able to conclude that there are different factors which affect the changes in the personality traits of the people like biological and environmental. The stressors and the toxics which are present in the environment of the society affects the personality of a person and this is one of the main reasons behind the changes in the thinking of the people. The research will also conclude that there are 5 different personality traits which can affect the way of thinking of an adult. I will also be able to state that the changes in the personality is also the outcome of the major life events and even the hormonal changes bring changes in the personality of an adult which are the main reasons for the changes in the decision-making ability of the person. The nature and the behaviour of a person are parts of the personality and the way an adult behaves will provide the idea about his or her decision-making as the acceptance to the openness will provide the idea about the person’s ability to match the competitive environment and adjust as per the needs of the society. These are the implications of the findings of this research.

  1. What statistical tests (or qualitative equivalent) do I plan to use in relation to the research question(s) (being specific/stated in relation to each of my predictions listed in section 3)?

In relation to the research questions, I plan to search for relevant literatures and research papers which will help me to understand the relationship between the personality traits and the way of thinking of the individuals especially in the adult humans. I will use three themes for analysing the research topic in an effective manner. Thematic analysis will be conducted for the following research.

  1. What are the ethical issues?
  1. What are the arrangements for ethical approval (including timeline) of the study?

Already been approved

  1. Do I need any external approvals to conduct this study (e.g. PVG, educational council, access letters from head teachers, coach, science centre etc.), and if so what is my plan to obtain these (including timeline)?


  1. Do I need any financial resources and/or equipment to conduct this study (provide details)?


  1. Are there any barriers that might make me struggle to complete this study by the deadline

Current Covid 19 pandemic is the barrier.

  1. What is the planned timeline of my data collection and analysis?

Expected start of data collection

Expected end of data collection

  1. Where and how will data be stored, and who has ownership of the data (supervisor, student, both?)


  1. What are the arrangements for receiving feedback from my supervisor (e.g. when will I give them things to read)?

On the end date of the project.


Here is the detailed information about the Dissertation project on Psychology

The full title of the Dissertation project

Title: The Relationship between Personality and Future-Thinking in Adult Humans

Project start date

Project end date

If different from the project start and end dates

Expected start of data collection

Expected end of data collection

Project description

This project has two main topics which will be combined into one study assessing the relationship between two variables: 1) Future-thinking; 2) Personality traits.

Future-thinking is a cognitive ability of humans whereby one creates a mental representation of future events or future personal needs (Martin-Ordas, 2020). This ability underlies the human capacity to plan for the future and envision the consequences of one's actions, and it is therefore of major survival value. A common experimental paradigm that is used to assess this ability is the 'delay of gratification', or inter-temporal choice, task. This involves presenting participants with the option of choosing a smaller reward available sooner (e.g., £50 in 3 days) than a larger reward available later (e.g., £55 in 23 days). Experiments of this kind have been frequently performed with children, wherein they consistently reveal children's preference for the smaller reward sooner when options are presented in the near future (Mischel et al, 1989). The 'delay of gratification' paradigm has also been developed for use with adults, wherein a similar preference for smaller-sooner rewards is demonstrated when participants make choices between smaller-sooner vs larger-later options that are both in the near future (Forstmeier et al, 2011). Interestingly, in work with adults, when both rewards are presented in a distant future (i.e., £50 in 30 days vs £55 in 50 days), preference for the larger reward increases (Dai & Fishbach, 2013). Hence, adults are more patient (i.e., willing to delay gratification by choosing a larger reward received later than a small one) when future-thinking about events in the distant future compared to when future-thinking about the events in the near future. The importance of the inter-temporal choice experimental paradigm reveals itself in observations that childrens' performance in these tasks (i.e., whether they choose or do not choose to delay gratification) is predictive of their capacity for self-control decades into adulthood (Casey et al, 2011) and can even predict body mass later in life (Schlam, 2013). Thus, individual differences in performance on inter-temporal choice tasks may hold predictive power over important aspects of motivation and behavioural regulation that relate to lifestyle and health outcomes.

Another psychological paradigm in which individual differences are predictive of lifestyle behaviours and mental and physical health outcomes is personality; the study of human personality has been an active area of research for several decades. A major development was the use of factor analysis statistical methods to reduce several thousand adjectives which describe human personality down to just five bipolar domains of personality, frequently labelled as extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness to experience (McCrae & Costa, 2008). The cross-cultural validity of these concepts has been demonstrated (Schmitt et al, 2007), confirming that the study of human personality in this way is universally applicable. Self-report questionnaires, such as the Big Five Inventory-2-Short (Soto & John, 2017), are the standard measurement instrument for these personality traits.

Main aims/objectives

The main aims of this project are to present adult humans with multiple variations of a delay of gratification/inter-temporal choice task to assess the impact on decision to delay gratification of different question variables.

For example, variations on the task will include: 1) presenting questions that vary in the form of reward offered (i.e., money vs online shopping vouchers vs money given on specific dates in the future); 2) varying whether questions pertain to choices being made in the future vs the past; 3) varying who is the subject of the question (i.e., having participants answer questions on behalf of themselves or an imagined other person).

Furthermore, another variable which will be assessed for impact on decision to delay gratification is personality. Each of the five domains of personality will be assessed: extraversion, consciousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. The aim of this will be to assess whether any of the Big Five personality traits significantly impact likelihood of delaying gratification. This may provide an important revelation as whether to personality traits significantly contribute to individual differences in the decision-making of adults in an inter-temporal choice task.


Three separate online surveys will be conducted using the Qualtrics platform. Three students will distribute one survey each and will share the results of each survey with each other for data analysis and inclusion in Dissertation reports. Each survey will contain two sections: the first section presents participants with several inter-temporal choice scenarios; the second presents them with personality self-report questions that enable a measurement of their levels of the Big Five personality traits. The personality questionnaire that will be used is the Big Five Inventory 2 Short (BFI-2-S), the validity and reliability of which have been confirmed (Soto & John, 2017).

Participants, recruitment and location

Inclusion criteria for taking part in the online survey are that participants should be 18 year of age or above, fluent in English, able to give informed consent to participate in this study, and have access to the internet. Forty participants at minimum will be required to complete each of the three surveys that will be distributed, meaning that approximately 120 participants in total will be required. This estimate of required participant numbers was calculated by g power.

How and from where participants will be recruited.

Participants will be recruited from the Psychweb system of the University. This grants course credits for participation at a rate of 0.5 tokens every 30 minutes. Participants may also be recruited via Facebook or other social media platforms by sharing a link to the Qualtrics survey and including a brief summary of the survey.

Describe where the research activities will take place

All research activities will be conducted online using the Qualtrics platform. This enables anonymous collection of survey responses.

Describe any incentive participants may receive for participation

Participants who University …of……..students and are recruited from the Psychweb system of the University will receive course credits for participation at a rate of 0.5 tokens every 30 minutes.

Does your proposed study involve vulnerable groups?

Ans: No.

Will you obtain consent from or on behalf of participants? When, where and how?

Participants will be presented with the opportunity to freely consent in Qualtrics, prior to being presented with any survey questions. Participants will be presented with a list of statements and asked to select two options below the list: 'agree' or 'disagree'. The statements inform the participants that for a period of 2 weeks following their completion of the survey, they may request the withdrawal of their data from inclusion in the data analysis that will take place following the data collection process. Furthermore, the statements inform the participants that their responses to the survey will be anonymous. The statements that will be presented are as following:

How will consent be recorded?

The selection of 'agree' or 'disagree' to the statements listed in the above section will constitute written consent.

Ethical implications

It will be important to ensure the anonymity of participants. This will be done by not asking participants for their names, and by generating a random ID for each participant. Furthermore, participants will be provided with a unique identification number. This can be used to allow participants to request by email that their data be excluded from the data analysis procedures for up to two weeks after the participants' data has been collected. Participants must supply this number when submitting such a request.

Are there risks of foreseeable harms that may be caused to participants and/or third parties



How will the results from this study (include feedback to participants) be disseminated?

Results of the study will be presented in the Dissertation Project Reports of three students:…... They will not be disseminated to individual participants. Feedback on grouped results can be provided to any participant who requests this.

Data collection methods

Does the proposed work involved the remote acquisition of data from or about human participants using the internet and its associated technologies?



Does your project involve data from social media?



Please give details

Three questonnaires will be uploaded onto the Qualtrics XM website. Some demographic information, such as age and gender, will be collected, as will answers to the inter-temporal choice questions and personality questions.

Does the proposed work involve collecting or accessing records of, personal or confidential information concerning individuals?



Does the proposed work involve the recording of participants through the use of audio visual methods?



Data analysis

Briefly describe the methods of data analysis

Three students, will separately collect data in one survey each, and the responses to all three surveys will be made available to all three students. Data analysis will be performed separately by each student. Analysis will involve analysing answers to inter-temporal choice questions and personality trait measurement questions. For example, the percentage of participants who chose the delayed gratification option in a given inter-temporal choice question will be calculated, and differences in the frequency of participants who chose to delay gratification across different question variations will be analysed by Chi-square Goodness of fit analysis. Logistic regression and Chi-Square test of Independence analyses will also be performed.

Data storage

Participant data will be anonymised using a numbered code at the start of the study. All data (consent forms included) will be electronic, ensuring that no information can be used to identify individual data sets. Only the researchers involved with the project will have access to the data. Any electronic data (e.g., spreadsheets, databases) will be saved on password protected machines and will be securely archived on password protected hard disks, and also stored in a secure physical location.

Conflict of interest

Does the principal investigator or any other investigator/collaborator have any direct personal involvement (e.g. financial, share-holding, personal relationship etc.) in the organisations sponsoring or funding that research that may give rise to a potential conflict of interest?



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