The research design for this project is cross-sectional and comparative and is designed to generate evidence which is descriptive, associative/correlational (quasi-experimental), causal (experimental). This project collects original data using personal observation and weblogs; online and paper and pencil self-completion questionnaires; and face-to-face informal interviews. Instruments assessing knowledge and understanding of emergent behavior will be developed as part of the project. These will take the form of interview protocols and structured assessments. Once the template is created, paper-and-pencil and online instrument administration will be used to assess psychometric characteristics
Verbal protocols will be coded and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively to develop the inventory template. Data collected using the proof of concept instruments will be analyzed quantitatively regarding reliability and qualitatively regarding validity. The focus will primarily be on undergraduate learning. The team has chosen examples from geology (erosion), chemistry (the relationship of temperature and pressure in gases), natural selection (the evolution of mimetic abilities), and psychology (detecting and avoiding outsiders) as contexts to conduct their research.