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1 HOW TO READ AND UNDERSTAND PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH

Adapted from: Szuchman, L. (2001). Writing with Sty e: A!A Sty e "ade #a$y. W%& Learning

Research topic - Article anal sis! !art of the ta$' of under$tanding p$ycho ogy in(o (e$ earning how to read and interpret artic e$ in profe$$iona )ourna $. *ourna artic e$ ha(e a $tandard format +ut are $ometime$ confu$ing, den$e or hard to under$tand. &he purpo$e of thi$ a$$ignment i$ to earn to identify important information in re$earch artic e$ +y ana yzing e ement$ of content and $ty e. A e,perimenta $tudie$ contain the fo owing $tandard $ection$: A"stract - a +rief $ynop$i$ of the artic e Intro#$ction inc ude$ fi(e $ection$ that may or may not +e identified +y $u+heading$: Literature re(iew, purpo$e of $tudy, theoretica imp ication$, definition of (aria+ e$, and hypothe$e$ (with rationa e) %etho#s - de$cription of the method$ of data co ection Res$lts - re$u t$ of data ana y$i$ Disc$ssion - di$cu$$e$ the finding$, imitation$ and imp ication$ of the e,periment Re&erences ' $ource$ (+oo'$, artic e$, inter(iew$) ac'now edging origina idea$ and finding$ Appen#ices (if re e(ant) E(ERCISES ) CRITICAL ANALYSIS PAPER .o to the Section home page and $e ect one artic e from the i$t found there. #ach of the$e artic e$ de$cri+e$ an e*peri+ental st$# (a$ oppo$ed to a theoretical or re,ie- article. which i$ in different form). /ou wi u$e the artic e you ha(e cho$en a$ the +a$i$ to comp ete the fo owing $et of e,erci$e$/ Rea# the article you ha(e $e ected and co+plete the 01 e*ercises "elo-/ Wor' in pair$ and con$u t with each other on the an$wer$. Han# in the article alon2 -ith the co+plete# e*ercises/ 0nce you ha(e comp eted the e,erci$e$, each $tudent wi write a 1%2 page critica ana y$i$ of the artic e.

2 DIRECTIONS #ach of the e,erci$e$ +e ow pro(ide$ e,amp e$ of the type$ of $entence$ to identify in your artic e. When you find an appropriate $entence in the artic e, do the fo owing: 1) 3igh ight the pa$$age in the artic e with high ighter pen. 2) La+e the pa$$age with the e,erci$e num+er in the margin +e$ide the pa$$age (e.g., Exercise #3) 1) &hen copy the fir$t 1%4 word$ of the pa$$age in the + an' $pace pro(ided in each e,erci$e, fo owed +y the page num+er (in parenthe$e$) on which it wa$ found. #,amp e: The purpose of the study(p. 23) 3e s$re to fo ow the a+e ing in$truction$ +ecau$e (1) it wi +e c earer, (2) it wi contri+ute to your grade, and (1) it wi pre(ent irritation on the part of the grader5 I%PORTANT NOTE! With the possi"le e*ception o& 41. all e*a+ples -ill "e &o$n# in the correspon#in2 sections 5that is! E*ercises0-6 -ill "e &o$n# in the Intro#$ction. E*ercises 78 in the %etho# section. etc/9

Article Section! Intro#$ction an# Literat$re Re,ie&he A!A Publication Manual $tate$ that the 6ntroduction $hou d contain fi(e component$: 1. scholarly re ie! of rele ant literature 2. purpose of the study 3. theoretical i"plications #. definitions of ariables $. state"ent of hypotheses and their rationales Author$ are often e,p icit a+out the$e item$. An artic e may e(en +egin with the word$, 7&he purpo$e of thi$ $tudy wa$ ...7 &he fina paragraph$ of the introduction may contain $entence$ that +egin with, 7Specific hypothe$e$ were ...7. 6n +etween, you wi find the iterature re(iew, theoretica imp ication$ and definition of (aria+ e$ in the $tudy.

Exercise 1
Loo' at the fir$t few (u$ua y 1%2) paragraph$ 890& the A+$tract:; mar' the $entence that $tate$ the purpo$e of the $tudy. 6f you do not find it in the fir$t 1%2 paragraph$, try the a$t two paragraph$ of the introduction. Exa"ples% a. The pri"ary purpose of our study is to reexa"ine the findin&s of 'ector (1((()) ta*in& into consideration b. The present study !as conducted to deter"ine character traits of persons !ho <1. =================================================

Exercise 2
Sti oo'ing at the fir$t or a$t few paragraph$, find $entence$ that indicate why thi$ i$ an important re$earch i$$ue. Exa"ples% a. +no!led&e of these factors "ay help identify indi iduals at ris* for... b. ,n understandin& of this dyna"ic is itally i"portant to the functionin& of... <2. =================================================

Exercise 3
Loo' in the introduction for a $entence that addre$$e$ a ac' of 'now edge a+out thi$ $u+)ect in the iterature and where thi$ $tudy wou d fi that gap. Exa"ples% a. Many studies ha e exa"ined ---- but ery little is *no!n about --------. +. .e! studies ha e in esti&ated the ---- and none ha e loo*ed directly at ----. <1. ==================================================

Exercise 4
9ow oo' at the fina few paragraph$ of the introduction. >ind the $pecific hypotheses and mar' one of them (Loo' for $uch word$ a$ predict or expect) Exa"ples% a. /t !as hypothesi0ed that interactions bet!een siblin&s !ould b. Experience !ith eatin& solid food should affect the !ay in !hich babies <4. ================================================

Exercise 5
>ind e,amp e$ of re$earch ?ue$tion$. &he re$earch ?ue$tion i$ a +road ?ue$tion that i$ +eing addre$$ed +y the $tudy and i$ i'e y to +e near the why%thi$%i$%an%important%?ue$tion $ection. &he re$earch ?ue$tion may +e $igna ed +y $uch word$ a$ describe) explore) assess) in esti&ate. 8&he @re$earch ?ue$tionA doe$ not refer to ?ue$tion$ a$'ed of the participant$.: Exa"ples% a. The present study in esti&ated relations bet!een , and 1) focusin& on b. 2e as*ed !hether ariations in coffee and chocolate inta*e could explain differences in <2. ================================================

Exercise 6
&he fina few paragraph$ of the introduction $hou d define the (aria+ e$ and indicate how the (aria+ e$ ha(e +een operationa ized (i.e., defined in a way that can +e mea$ured). >ind and copy e,amp e$ of definition$ of (aria+ e$. Exa"ples% a. 3ense of hu"or !as "easured usin& the 45M 'au&hter 3cale. b. ,ttracti eness !as "easured by participants6 ratin&s of the photo&raphs on a (7point scale. <B. ================================================

Article Section! %etho#olo2


&he purpo$e of the method$Cmethodo ogy $ection i$ twofo d. >ir$t, a fu y detai ed method $ection ma'e$ it po$$i+ e to a$$e$$ the re ia+i ity and (a idity of the e,periment. Second, +ecau$e detai $ of $amp e and procedure$ are pro(ided, other re$earcher$ can e,act y rep icate a $tudy or $tate how they are de(iating from the origina procedure.

Exercise 7
"ar' pa$$age$ in the !articipant$ or Su+)ect$ $ection$ that indicate the num+er, age, and gender of participant$. Exa"ples% a. Participants !ere 32 under&raduates at the 8ni ersity of 9:; b. The sa"ple consisted of 1< "ale and 1= fe"ale therapists and their spouses D. ================================================

Exercise 8
>ind e,amp e$ of de$cription$ of $ca e$. Loo' for pa$$age$ that de$cri+e the $ca e, indicate the num+er of point$ on the $ca e, de$cri+e a+e $ or anchor$ of the $ca e$, andCor $coring criteria. Exa"ples% a. Test , used a $7point 'i*ert7type for"at !ith responses ran&in& fro" 1 (al"ost ne er or ne er true) to $ (al"ost al!ays or al!ays true). b. , cut score !as used !ith 1> or less indicatin& nor"al dissociation) 2>73> indicatin& si&nificant dissociati e sy"pto"s) and 3>? su&&estin& the presence of a dissociati e disorder. E. ------------------------------------------------

Exercise 9
>rom the !rocedure$ $u+$ection$, find e,amp e$ of ta$'$ that are performed +y participant$. Exa"ples% a. Each participant !as re@uired to drin* t!o 1A7ounce be era&es !ithin a 1$7second ti"e fra"e. b. Participants !ere to label each photo&raph !ith the adBecti es that best described the person in that photo&raph. F. -----------------------------------------------

Article Section! Res$lts


&he Ge$u t$ $ection contain$ the re$u t$ of the $tati$tica ana y$e$. &hi$ $ection i$ written in $tandard form. &he $tati$tica te$t$ of the hypothe$e$ are reported in the order in which the hypothe$e$ were pre$ented in the introduction. &hi$ $ection contain$ re$u t$ on y. &here i$ no di$cu$$ion of which hypothe$e$ were or were not $upported; tho$e $entence$ +e ong in the Hi$cu$$ion $ection. 6n thi$ $ection, it i$ $tandard to u$e the $ame $entence format for e(ery re$u t in(o (ing the $ame type of $tati$tic (i.e., repetiti(e pre$entation i$ the norm here).

Exercise 10
>ind a $entence from one of the artic e$ that de$cri+e$ one $tati$tica ana y$i$ u$ed in the $tudy. Exa"ples% a. usin& a t!o7tailed T7test and a one7!ay ,CDE, b. 4orrelations bet!een hei&ht and !ei&ht !ere perfor"ed c. , step7!ise "ultiple re&ression analysis !as used 10. ===============================================

Article Section: Disc$ssion


&he Fiscussion $ection contain$ $e(era type$ of materia . >ir$t, the re$u t$ are e(a uated in term$ of the re$earch ?ue$tion$ andCor hypothe$e$ generated in the introduction. #ach $tati$tica ana y$i$ wa$ done in an effort to an$wer a re$earch ?ue$tion or te$t a hypothe$i$. &he re$u t$ of the$e ana y$e$ were reported in the Ge$u t$ $ection. o &he Hi$cu$$ion $ection addre$$e$ which ana y$e$ ead to what conc u$ion$ and how the ana y$e$ $upport or do not $upport the hypothe$e$. o When hypothe$e$ are $upported, the theory that generated tho$e hypothe$e$ i$ di$cu$$ed. o When hypothe$e$ are not $upported, thi$ i$ admitted and po$$i+ e rea$on$ are di$cu$$ed. Second, future re$earch i$ addre$$ed. &hird, the imitation$ of the pre$ent $tudy are di$cu$$ed.

Exercise 11
Hi$cu$$ion $ection: ($pecific hypothe$e$). Loo' at the fir$t few $entence$ or the fina $entence of the di$cu$$ion. >ind pa$$age$ that report whether or not the main hypothe$i$ wa$ $upported. When $e(era hypothe$e$ ha(e +een te$ted and $e(era $tati$tic$ reported, the author i'e y indicate$ which $pecific re$u t or ana y$i$ i$ tied to which $pecific hypothe$i$. 3owe(er, the Hi$cu$$ion $ection doe$ not restate the re$u t$, +ut rather e,p ain$ and interpret$ them. Exa"ples% a. ,s expected) participants !ho ate salty foods re@uested "ore !ater than b. The results of this study pro ide stron& support for the hypothesis that the sun rises in the east. 11. ============================================

Exercise 12
Loo' for $tatement$ of $imi arity or difference$ +etween thi$ wor' and that of pre(iou$ re$earcher$ or other wor'$ +y the $ame author. Exa"ples% a. Dur results support Gipley6s belief that the truth is stran&er than fiction. b. 4onsistent !ith pre ious research) this study re ealed that . . . 12. ============================================

Exercise 13
>ind $entence$ or phra$e$ that di$cu$$ the imp ication$ of the $tudy: #,amp e$: a. The findin&s of this study shed li&ht on b. The patterns of interaction found in this study su&&ests that these patterns could be useful in 11. ============================================

Exercise 14
>ind phra$e$ that addre$$ $ugge$tion$ for future re$earch, +a$ed on the finding$ of the pre$ent $tudy. #,amp e$: a. .uture research should focus on identifyin& indi idual parts of b. 4ontinued exploration of the relationship bet!een thu"b7suc*in& and taste for chocolate is necessary to deter"ine 14. ============================================

Exercise 15
Loo' through Hi$cu$$ion $ection$ for indication$ of the imitation$ of thi$ $tudy. #,amp e$% a. The fact that the !o"en first sa! their reflections in a "irror !hen they !ere not !earin& "a*e7up "ay ha e artificially increased their ne&ati e response b. 1ecause of the s"all sa"ple si0e) findin&s cannot be &enerali0ed c. The self7report "ethod "ay ha e pro ided a biased picture of ho! people beha e in 12. =============================================

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