Psychology Research Proposal

Name of student

Name of Institution

Research Topic

Life Satisfaction and Self-Directed Learning willingness among Older Adults





















Table of contents

1.0 Introduction…………………………………………………………4

1.1Problem statement……………………………………………………5

1.2 Purpose ……………………………………………………………..5

1.3 Hypotheses …………………………………………………………6

1.4 Key Term Definitions………………………………………………7

2.0 Review of Literature………………………………………………..8

3.0 Summary……………………………………………………………10

4.0 Methodology……………………………………………………….10

5.0 Data Collection Procedures…………………………………………11

6.0 Data Analysis……………………………………………………….12

7.0 Concluding Remarks………………………………………………..13











1.0 Introduction


It will be realized that life satisfaction has actually been one of the crucial areas of emphasis for the past decades. Questions in relation to the social, psychological, economic as well as the physical status especially for the older adults have actually served either indirectly or directly as the principal focus in most of the researches of the aging population. This type of questions have truly augmented the understanding towards the problems and processes that revolve around the aging group which in turn has resulted to the establishment of strategies that are fully designed in view of  taking advantage of the potential in future. Self-directed learning, on the other hand, has actually created substantial interest in the literature of the adult education which has been necessitated by the self-directed learning readiness scale (Guglielmino & Murdick, 1997). Self-directed learning readiness scale (SDLRS) is a type of scale that is designed so as to measure the willingness or readiness of a person towards self-directed learning.

According to Hiemstra (1975), argued that there was a strong relationship that existed between the predilection for presuming individual control over age and learning after studying the learning projects of several older adults. It will be noted that this was further supported by McCoy, et al. (1992). Through their study, they established that there existed a positive relationship sandwiched between SDLRS scores and age.  Barlow (2011) reveals that life satisfaction can actually be improved through learning efforts clearly implying that it is very crucial to determine whether the willingness and propensity towards self-directed learning has a functional relationship to life satisfaction measures. The intention of this research proposal is to truly examine whether such relationships exist.




1.1 Problem Statement

In respect to the discussion carried above one is likely to discover a two-fold problem which will essentially act as the departure point for the current investigation. One of the key problem areas is that several older adults experience various obstacles that are capable of impacting their entire condition of wellbeing. It will be recognized that some of the adults are capable of overcoming these obstacles through self-learning attempts although others get themselves being less equipped to deal with such impediments.

Another key problem area entails understanding the reason why most people are geared at learning so as to meet their personal needs whereas others are not. It will thus be documented that these prevailing variances that lounge within the heart of the problem areas that are actually proposed for this particular study. Therefore if a relationship is able to be set up between an attitude favorable to self-directedness towards learning and life satisfaction then it is possible to view self-directed learning as one of the strategies aimed at promoting a elevated quality of life amongst people who are at their later years.



1.2 Purpose


The rationale of this study is basically to investigate methods in which the perceptions of the older adults as self-directed novices relate with the level of satisfaction ascribed towards their lives.  The study will therefore be focused on two main objectives:

  1. To find out extend to which life satisfaction components coalesce with chosen demographic variables in order to predict the degree of self-directed willingness of the people.
  2. To find out the relationship stuck between individual willingness for self-directed learning and life satisfaction.


The specific objective that revolves around this study will be geared at examining the various substantive and methodological considerations in revising self-directed learning.


1.3 Hypotheses

Two main hypothesis will be developed that will help during the analysis of the data. It is actually hypothesized that life satisfaction perceptions will be truly related to the self-directed learning willingness perceptions within a sample of the older adults. The people who give a high life satisfaction level will be likely to have superior self-directed readiness perceptions whereas low satisfaction will in fact be related to low self-directed willingness. This implies that it will be possible to forecast the degree of self-directed willingness of the individuals by determining their score on entire life satisfaction and key factors identified as hurdles to taking part in adult education within the older adults like gender and age. Lastly, it is precisely hypothesized that people from a community sample will essentially tend to reveal superior self-directed willingness as well as life satisfaction unlike those obtained from an institutionalized setting.




1.4 Key Term Definitions


Older Adult – based on this research proposal, older adult will be defined as any person with an age of at least 65 years.

Life Satisfaction – It refers to a self reported appraisal of an individual’s entire psychosocial well-being which is a combination of social-related factors, financial security, perceived health as well as personality factors like self-concept and mood.

Self-Directed Learning willingness – it refers to the degree in which people perceive themselves to posses the skills as well as attitudes required to be an effectual self-directed learner and in this proposed study it measured through SDLRS (Guglielmino & Murdick, 1997).

Self-Directed Learning – it is a process through which people take the initiative without or with the assistance from the other parties in assessing learning outcomes, implementing and choosing suitable learning strategies, identifying material and human resources for use in learning, devising learning goals and diagnosing their needs in learning.










2.0 Review of Literature

It is very crucial to point out that quality of life is in fact an issue that is pertinent to people of all ages. Cantrill (1965) clearly studied the quality of life in the midst of persons in at least a dozen states at different development stages. The researchers in United States extend to reveal that the social research institute which is in Michigan University has embarked on extensive efforts in learning the quality of life (Campbell, Converse, & Rodgers, 1976; Shek, Chan & Lee, 2005).

Life Satisfaction definition

In order to understand life satisfaction meaning as used in the research proposal it required that one ought to understand the related concepts. According to Wang (2011) life satisfaction may refer to the maintenance directed towards the middle-age activities, a sensation of happiness in one’s life, a sensation of satisfaction that revolves around the present status of an individual as well as his activities and as a style of life which is socially desirable. Wellbeing is in most cases associated with life satisfaction although they are somehow different because well being refers to the common emotional experience of the older adults based on a positive negative continuum. This makes life satisfaction to be viewed as an appraisal of the overall psychosocial of the individuals’ well being.


Approaches for Measuring Life Satisfaction

Several measures for life satisfaction have been developed since 1949. One of the earliest measures of older adults well being which focused on personal judgment was known as Your Activities and Attitudes. It was rather an extensive survey of the types of the concerns and activities that several individuals devote their attitudes and energies towards happiness, health, friends and family (Burgess & Havighurst, 1949).    Kutner Morale Scale was another earliest approach that was used in measuring life satisfaction (Kutner & Fanshel, 1956). Based on this scale, individuals were inquired to provide their responses in respect with seven morale-related questions where points were scored for the correct responses. Life Satisfaction Index A has been a predominant method of measuring life satisfaction (Sirgy, 2001). This was actually a 20-item scale in which the subjects were either asked to disagree or agree as the only responses expected from them. As a result of the interviews from the individuals using this approach several factors were established that constituted life satisfaction. They extend to include mood tone, self-concept, congruence between achieved and desired goals, fortitude and resolution and apathy vs. zest.

Self-Directed Learning

It will be documented that self-directed learning is not a new concept in the adult education although it emerged as key research focus since 1970’s. Generally, the

Self-directed learning is by no means a new concept to adult education; yet it only began to emerge as a major research focus in the field since the early 1970’s. The groundwork on which the self-directed learning remains sustained is normally linked with the humanistic psychology and philosophy principles.

A multiplicity of approaches for the past periods has been employed to study the phenomenon of self-directed learning. These studies are capable of being categorized as either self-directed willingness, qualitative or learning projects (Kelly, 2008)


3.0 Summary

It will be recognized that life satisfaction for the past decades has been an essential area of study being carried out by several sociologists and psychologists. As a result of this link that necessitates quality of life several studies have seen the exploration of the life satisfaction to be prolific. Due to its difficulties in definition, researchers examines life satisfaction as a multidimensional and unidimensional  phenomenon, psychosocial and social phenomenon,  an indicator of current as well as lifetime wellbeing and as a subjective and objective measure. The efforts in learning have been indicated as having a link with life satisfaction although the precise association is not comprehensible.


4.0 Methodology

The purpose of this part is to illustrate the methodology that is anticipated in the research proposal. This section will entail descriptions revolving around the study setting, study sample, proposed methods of data collection, analysis efforts as well as proposed research design.

Study Setting

The study setting will thus entail all individuals residing in two settings. It will first capture a residential home of the adults within Syracuse in New York. This adult home is truly a long term facility where people require minimal assistance. The second type of setting is a housing project for the senior citizens which is near Syracuse and the residents do not require any external support, live on their own and are all retired. These two settings provide an older adults’ sample in a confined geographic area hence facilitating data collection.



Research Design

Ex post facto type of research design will be used in the proposed study. It refers to a systematic form of empirical inquiry where the researcher does not have direct variable control (Kerlinger (1973).  The plan of the study will highly involve collecting information on the self-directed learning willingness or readiness and life satisfaction.

Sampling Plan and Population

It will be documented that an adult home does not imply to a heath care facility instead it is a residential setting for most of the older adults who are independent in need of minimal services. A random sample will in point of fact be drawn from the residents lists obtained for the settings. A random numbers’ table will be used where the individuals’ names will be chosen from each setting.

5.0 Data Collection Procedures

According to this research two instruments will be used to measure one dependent variable, three moderator variables and one independent variable.

Independent Variable

It will be further recognized that life satisfaction is the independent variable within this study and will in fact be measured through the “Salamon-Conte Life Satisfaction in the Elderly Scale” (SCLSES) which focuses on various daily living aspects such as self-concept, considering life to be important and taking contentment in daily activities.

Dependent Variable

Self-directed willingness or readiness happens to the dependent variable within this study which is measured through SDLRS. This measure is the most appropriate for identifying the variance across the older adults’ population.


Moderator Variables

Apart from the dependent and independent variables, moderator variables will also be considered in this study. A moderator variable is a factor that is selected, manipulated or measured by the researcher so as to find out whether it alters the relationship that exist between the independent variable and an observed phenomenon (Tuckman, 1978). The moderator variables in our case here extend to include gender, age as well as residential status.

Data Gathering Plans

A simple form of instruction sheet that inquires subjects their gender and age will actually be delivered to the administrator in every setting who has agreed to issue and collect the complete it. Before the instruments and instruction sheets are distributed, the respective administrators and researchers will send an introduction letter to the chosen subjects through mails pleading for cooperation. Telephone numbers will be provided for those with additional questions to be given assistance.

6.0 Data Analysis

Several types of data analysis are proposed to be used within this study. In order to provide sample description from which the data was gathered then descriptive information on residential setting, gender and age will be clearly described together with the modes, standard deviations, range and means for the SCLSES and SDLRS scores. The coefficients of the Pearson product moment correlation will be determined so as to determine the relationship between SCLSES and SDLRS.  Thirdly, the difference within these scores as well as the moderator variables will be determined by examining the analysis of variance, t-tests and chi-square tests.

The specific hypotheses that will be tested are listed below in a null form:

  1. There is actually no considerable relationship stuck between self-directed learning willingness and life satisfaction which will be tested by use of Pearson correlation coefficient.
  2. There is no considerable difference in self-directed learning willingness or readiness and life satisfaction according to the age. The most appropriate tests to be employed here is the analysis of variance and t-test.
  3. There is no considerable difference in self-directed learning willingness or readiness and in life satisfaction between residential background subjects and adult home where a chi-square test will be carried out for variable.
  4. There is actually no considerable difference in self-directed learning willingness and in life satisfaction based on gender. Chi-square test is most appropriate test for this hypothesis.

The hypotheses developed above will be tested at a minimum 5% significance level.




7.0 Concluding Remarks


It is projected that this study will precisely create significant contributions towards adult education areas. The study is expected to expand the base of knowledge of the self-directed learning. This study will also utilize by the SDLRS by use of sample of older adults residing in residential and institutional settings. Lastly, the eventual issue underlying this proposed study is the quality of life. The study will be aimed at identifying ways by which education is capable of enhancing quality life to several people at the old ages.


Several limitations have been identified in this proposed study. It will be actually limited when it comes to its generalization to the entire older adult populace. This is because the older adults are a heterogeneous population hence some older population segments may fail to be included in the sample. In addition, the dependent as well as the independent variables are measured as perceptions of the subjects and not their actual behaviors.

















Barlow, D. H. (2011). The Oxford handbook of clinical psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Burgess, E. W., & Havighurst, R. J. (1949). Your activities and attitudes. Chicago: Science Research Associates.

Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., & Rodgers, W. L. (1976). The quality of American life: perceptions, evaluations, and satisfactions. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Cantril, H. (1965). The pattern of human concerns. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Guglielmino, P., & Murdick, R. G. (1997). Self-directed learning: the quiet revolution in corporate training and development. Corpus Christi, Tex.: SAM.

Hiemstra, R. (1975). The older adult and learning. Lincoln: Dept. of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Kelly, S. P. (2008). Clinical instruction in physical therapy: novice and expert approaches to instructional reasoning. S.I.: s.n.].

Kerlinger, F. N. (1973). Foundations of behavioral research (2d ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Kutner, B., & Fanshel, D. (1956). Five Hundred over Sixty. A community survey on aging. [By] Bernard Kutner … and David Fanshel … Alice M. Togo … Thomas S. Langer. Russell Sage Foundation: New York

McCoy, K., Wibbelsman, C., & Stover, B. (1992). The new teenage body book. (Thoroughly rev. and updated. Ed.). New York, NY: Body Press/Perigee.

Shek, D. T., Chan, Y. K., & Lee, P. S. (2005). Quality-of-life research in Chinese, Western, and global contexts. Dordrecht: Springer.

Sirgy, M. J. (2001). Handbook of quality-of-life research: an ethical marketing perspective. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers Group.

Tuckman, B. W. (1978). Conducting educational research (2d ed.). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Wang, C. (2011). Leisure participation, leisure motivation, and life satisfaction for elders. S.l.: Bibliobazaar, Llc.

Rite of passage

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Rite of passage

A rite of passage is basically defined as a type of ceremony which marks a transformation in a person’s sexual or even social status. Rituals of passage are regularly ceremonies adjoining events such as death, marriages, coming of age, puberty or childbirth. Te term apparently was popularized around early 20th century by a German called ethnographer Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957). These passages are quite diverse, celebrated in a broad variety of customs all through the world. And even in the contemporary society there continues to be many varied examples of rituals of passages. Many anthropologists who cite Gennep’s key work on “The Rites of Passage,” argue that rituals of passage subsist so as to unite social ties, set up roles, and offer members of a particular grouping a sense of placement as well as purpose. Rites of passage are more than just life passages and they are aimed at acquiring social expectations, cognitive skills, as well as physical development in adolescents.

In spite of their diversity, rituals of passage all provide an equivalent purpose: To detach the person from their previous group, train them for their fresh stage of life, plus their re-entrance into community at this new rank or position. The entire process not only sets up the person for a new phase or role in their respective life, but also might serve to unite them among others who are similarly undergoing through the equivalent process. During such liminal phase where the individuals are yet to be reintroduced back into the society is quite vital as they prepare themselves for the duties and responsibilities to come as well as future prospects. Therefore, any misunderstanding and barriers which may exist amongst people from diverse social status dissolve and they regard themselves within the liminal state as equal. This helps in forging deep relationships as well as harmony and peace. The three cultures or rather rites of passage which are auspicious with respect to their respective cultures include: the Maasai community of East Africa, Satere-Mawe clan Bullet Ant Glove, and High school graduation.

The Maasai Community

The Maasai community commonly found in Tanzania as well as Kenya has actually a sequence of rituals of passage which take boys into adulthood. There Maasai community has many ceremonies including: Orngesherr (junior elder ritual), Enkang oo-nkiri (meat-eating ritual), Eokoto e-kule (milk-drinking ritual), Eunoto (warrior-shaving ritual), Enkiama (marriage), Emuratta (circumcision), and Enkipaata (senior boy rite) amongst others. Furthermore, there are rituals for minors (girls and boys) undergone before circumcision and they include: Ilkipirat (leg fire marks) and Enkigerunoto/Eudoto oo-inkiyiaa (earlobe). The rituals which touch the Maasai women are on marriage as well as circumcision while men create age-sets stirring them nearer to adulthood. Each and every ritual in the Maasai community is a new life and the following shows how the boys start their journey towards adulthood and becoming responsible members of the society (Maasai Culture | Ceremonies and Rituals. (n.d.)).

Every ten or fifteen years a fresh warrior group is initiated into the clan and boys aged between 10 and 20 years are brought jointly from all over the country. Circumcision initiation usually elevates a person from babyhood to maturity and for the boys to be initiated they ought to prove themselves in the community by exhibiting signs of a mature men, through carrying a weighty spear, and even herding big herd of farm animals. Then several houses are constructed which serves as the locale of initiation. The boys have to sleep in the jungle before the day of the ceremony and at sunrise they go to the makeshift homestead to commence the festivities of dancing and singing. In the ceremony, they take up a concoction of milk, alcohol, and cow’s blood, and more so eat loads of meat. Immediately after the celebrations, boys aged 12-16 are all set to undergo circumcision.

The process of circumcision occurs shortly before dawn and its done by a skilled man with loads of years of experience. Then following the operation’s success, the circumcised boy would be given gifts of domestic animals from his friends and relatives. Similarly, he would achieve a remarkable amount of admiration for his bravery since no drugs like anesthesia used during the operation. Girls of the same age set used to get circumcised with their male counterparts but the fight against female circumcision has seen the practice reduce tremendously. Once the boys undergo circumcision, commonly referred to as Emuratane, they then become new people, men, and attain the status of warriors who become protectors of the entire Maasai community (Maasai Culture | Ceremonies and Rituals. (n.d.)). Seemingly, circumcision is quite painful but yet it signifies a lot to each and every Maasai.


Satere-Mawe Bullet Ant Glove

The Satere-Mawe clan is a native tribe found in the Brazilian Amazon and has a projected population of roughly 10,761. The community rarely share contact with the rest of the world and for a boy to transform into manhood, he has to put his hand into a woven ceremonial glove which contains bullet ants and has to endure the stings for about ten minutes without wincing or crying out. The community makes use of on purpose bullet ant stings as component of their rite of passage towards becoming a warrior. Initially, the ants are rendered cataleptic by immersing them in a naturally made tranquilizer and then about hundreds of them placed into a woven glove fabricated out of leaves (Frater 2010).

Apparently, the only protection given to the boys is a covering of charcoal on their hands since the elders belief that it would baffle the ants and thus hinder their stinging. The bullet ant is recorded to posses the most agonizing sting on earth and persists for even more than 24 hours. This ritual takes place to boys aged 13 years and this ordeal usually paralyzes temporarily their arm and even leaves them shaking hysterically for couple of days. Therefore, the boys who survive the torment are crowned as being men and those who want to be recognized as superior or strong warriors have to repeat the rite for about 20 times (Frater 2010).


High school graduation

The American society has undergone numerous changes over the centuries in terms of rituals administered to reflect one’s change from a certain age group to another. For instance, high school students in the country always dread to attain their high school graduation as they see it as a passage to adulthood. They feel happy during this day as they assume that they are actually free from the ordeals of high school life and realize the expectations of life which involve taking up careers.  The reason this rite is very famous is that the diplomas gotten from high school are yet the basis of the country’s educational milestones since merely half of the students who graduate on high school level proceed to colleges and universities. Seemingly, given that the graduation comes about so close to the country’s official age of eighteen years thus majority of America see it as the passage end into adulthood (Derge 2009).


In the majority of cultures the ceremony of passage is celebrated with the entire family, while in others friends but seemingly most of the American cultures don’t commemorate the ritual of passage as for instance the Maasai do. There are other famous rites of passage practices in U.S. including: sweet 16 and baby shower. Nonetheless, high school graduation has turned out to be amongst the utmost rite of passage. Several months/days preceding graduation imply the ending of one’s high school days, and more so the conclusion of their babyhood and entry into maturity. By the moment most teens graduate from high school, they usually have by now turned into an adult. They acquire the ability to buy tobacco or cigarettes as well as lottery tickets. Besides getting such freedoms of adulthood, there also comes the right to vote, access into clubs, and no more having an interim drivers license (Derge 2009).










Work cited

Derge, S. R. (2009). Rites of passage: a program for high school African American males. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America.

Frater, J. (2010).’s ultimate book of bizarre lists: fascinating facts and shocking trivia on movies, music, crime, celebrities, history and more. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press.

Maasai Culture | Ceremonies and Rituals. (n.d.). Maasai Association | Kenya. Retrieved August 09, 2013, from


Interpersonal Professional Communication


It will be realized that this is one among the greatest court room films which shows nothing concerning the trial itself apart from the judge’s obligatory, nearly bored, charge towards the jury. The juror’s tone of voice clearly reveals that the verdict is truly an inevitable conclusion. We in fact hear neither defense attorney nor prosecutor enabling one to discover the evidence which seems to be only second hand as a result of the jurors’ debate. It will further be established that nearly all courtroom movies consider it essential to terminate the proceedings in a clear-cut verdict. However, the 12 Angry Men do not reveal if the defendant is guilty or innocent (Ebert, 2002, September 29).  It will be noted that the movie is accompanied by a lot of tension that stems from body language, dialogue and personal conflict where emotion, logic and prejudice move violently to control the whole field. The juror is evidently seen to be rational and one who undoubtedly believes in the case facts but it is shortly revealed that he has defined notions regarding the defendant and trial and seems to be very emotional.

The best way to ensure that the problem does not reoccur is through controlling emotions during interpersonal communications by necessitating development of emotional intelligence. It will be documented that emotional intelligence extends to capture in social and personal competence. Personal competence requires that a person who has emotional competence is actually self-aware thereby able to precisely assess his/her own limits and strengths and take actions in a self-confident manner. This is essentially a person who is able to control his/her emotions and maintains the harsh emotions in check (Interpersonal Communication, n.d.). Under the social realm, a person who has emotional intelligence is required to have an ability to precisely interpret and perceive the emotions of the other people which in turn results to the ability to develop relationships which are healthy. In summary, the communicator who has a developed emotional intelligence is required to put into practice emotional skills where he or she watches his or her emotional reactions and notices how the rest react to the prevailing situation.