Instructions: Later in the semester, and throughout your time as a psychology major and beyond, you will need to summarize and critique research articles. Before you can do that, you need to learn to read empirical research articles. You may be thinking “I already know how to read!”, but reading a research article is a little different than reading a textbook or news article. When you read a scientific article, your goal is to understand scientific contributions that authors made, specifically in psychology, hypotheses, research design, participants, methodology, results, and conclusion. This is a complex task – you may go over the article several times and spend hours on it. Research articles are written in a format that may not be intuitive or easy to understand at first. It will get easier with practice!
Here are some general guidelines for you to read a research article:
Remember the structure of a psychological article, and how each section is different: Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, References, Appendix.
Skim the article: Briefly skimming the materials can help you be familiar with the topic and information included in the article. With the anticipation of article structure and topic, you will read the article more efficiently and comprehend more later on.
Take notes as you read the article: Next, you should carefully read through each section and make notes. Write down any questions or criticisms so you do not forget them. Underline key points/definitions, mark down important data and results, go back the start and look up the information that you missed, and discuss with your group. Such efforts can help you the first time you read an article.
Identify key information: Here are the key pieces of information to look for:
What are the main hypotheses?
What is/are independent variable(s)? What is/are dependent variable(s)?
How did researchers recruit their participants? Identify participants’ demographic information and data collection procedure.
What materials did researchers utilize to measure the hypotheses? Identify the apparatus and measurements.
What are the key findings/results of the study?
Do the findings justify authors’ conclusions?
Next semester, you will also have to: Note the other sources that the paper cited in the introduction and discussion sections (you can skip this step for current discussion assignment): References section may be ignored but it is actually one of the most important parts in an article, especially when you are looking for references/sources for your own further studies. Spending some time to review it can find some research articles/topics in which you are interested. You will learn all about this in Methods II!
For this assignment, I have chosen a research article for you to read. Read the article posted below and answer the following questions.
Article:When the Referee Sees Red
Always save a copy of your responses to the individual assignments before you submit them (either by taking a picture of your answers or by copying and pasting your answers into a word document). You will need them for the next part of this assignment and you will not always have access to your responses after you submit them.
Requirements: Answer questions
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