You may earn experimental participation points by reading and summarizing research articles published in psychology journals. Each article that you read and summarize must be handed in to your instructor, who will determine whether or not your summary is acceptable. You need to turn in four acceptable summaries to fulfill your course research requirement.
For this, you will earn 24 points. Each acceptable summary will earn you 6 points. You may choose to do up to four additional acceptable summaries for extra credit. Each additional summary will earn you 4 extra credit points.
Each summary must be typed, double spaced, and must be at least one page, but no longer than two pages in length. Your instructor will evaluate the content of the paper, how well you have summarized the article you read, and will also consider grammar, spelling, and punctuation in determining whether or not each paper is acceptable. Papers that have poor spelling, grammar, or organization will NOT be considered acceptable, even if the paper’s content is adequate. If you have doubts about your ability to write well, you might consider visiting the campus student writing center to get feedback on expository matters before you turn your papers in.
Copies of journal articles can be found on Blackboard. A list of articles is listed at the end of this document. Please refer to the list when choosing your articles. ONLY articles from that list are acceptable for summary.
If you plan to do this assignment to fulfill your research requirement, you MUST inform your TA before the 4th week of the semester ends. If you decide to do any research papers for extra credit, you may start them later in the semester. However, you still MUST inform your TA that you will be turning them in and set up a submission schedule. Your instructor will set specific dates when your work must be turned in, (see below) and, as with all experimental points, all work must be completed by the second to the last week of the semester.
To spread the workload out over the entire semester, 4 submission periods have been established for the papers. You can submit up to two papers in each period. Hence, if you want to do 8 papers, you would submit two in each period.
Note that you cannot “make up” missed papers by doing additional papers in a later period – only a MAXIMUM of two papers can be submitted per period (unless approved by your TA). Hence, to be safe, it is to your benefit to start by doing 2 papers per period – that always leaves open the option of doing all 8 papers. If you decide that you don’t want to do all 8, you can always cut back later in the semester.
What is the overall purpose of this study?
Why was the author conducting this experiment?
What theory is the author testing in this research?
What is the author’s hypothesis?
How were subjects selected for this experiment?
What were the subjects’ ages, gender, and other characteristics?
What were the experimental conditions used in the experiment? Please describe with detail.
What were the control conditions used? Please describe in detail.
What were the independent and dependent variables?
How did the researchers score the dependent variables?
What types of statistical analyses were used?
What did the statistical analyses indicate?
How significant were the results?
Did the results of the experiment support the experimenter’s hypothesis?
How did the author summarize the outcome of their experiment?
Were there results of the experiment that were inconsistent with the researcher’s initial hypothesis or theory?
Can you relate this article to a section of the textbook, or explain why this is important to that particular area of psychology?
Remember that the main purpose of the assignment is for you to gain understanding of HOW psychological research is done and what it means. Hence, try to convey this information when writing your papers. In addition, you are reminded that papers that have poor spelling, grammar, or organization will NOT be considered acceptable, even if the paper’s content is adequate.
If you have doubts about your ability to write well, you might consider visiting the campus student writing center to get feedback on expository matters before you turn your papers in.