Psychology 101- Description  Extra Credit Opportunity

Psychology 101 Tim Donahue Extra Credit Description: Extra Credit Opportunity – 20 points What: You are going to write a Journal Review on any psychological research topic (of your choice) from a professional journal. You will turn in your review AND a hard copy of the journal article. What’s a Journal Review? It is a summary and commentary on published research in a professional journal. What is a profession journal article? A professional journal is a scientific journal in which researchers publish their results. Sometimes they are also called “Peer Review” journals because a researcher will publish his/her research and the larger scientific community will read the research and write a critique of it. To get your work published in a professional journal is a mark of achievement and a sign that your research meets high scientific and academic standards. The first sign is whether or not the research article has what is called an ABSTRACT – a short paragraph summary at the beginning of the article which briefly explains the research and results. If your article doesn’t have an ABSTRACT then chances are you are not looking at a professional journal. Where can I find a professional journal? They are easy to find. Try any of the below: 1. Go to the APA website below (American Psychological Society) and you can browse the journals by title or subject. Their website is http://www.apa…./pubs/journals/index.aspx 2. Use any search engine for professional journals – psychology 3. Use your VCU online library search tools; and if you need some help simply stop by the library and ask any of the research assistants. 4. If you look in the back of your textbook, you’ll see a reference section for all the research used in the text, it will give you the name of the author, title of research, date of publication, the journal name and even the page number for their research. Enter that information in your search engine and it’ll take you right to the article……and you may be able to obtain a free PDF of the article, especially if you use the VCU search tools. Signs that a journal is NOT a professional journal. If your journal has any of the following, you should not use it: Here’s a good website clarifying the difference: Advertisements are a clear sign it is not a professional journal. Easy to read, non?specific; professional journals are not intended for the general public. Lack of statistical data; look for charts, graphs, and statistical data. Popular magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated Blogs and online chat rooms are NOT professional journals Psychology Today is NOT a professional journal Page 1 of 2 Journal Review Format & Guidelines 1. Mechanics. Make sure you have a title page (use standard format for this class posted in Bb.). Type the paper, 12 font, double spaced, Times New Roman font (or comparable), 1 inch margins and page numbers on each page except for the title page which should not have a page number on it. Proper grammar and spelling! No fancy jacket or sleeve. If you cite any material, make sure you use APA format. This is not a research paper, so there really isn’t any need to us any in text citations. You are summarizing the material in your own words. DO NOT CUT AND PASTE ANYTHING! Page limit: One page for title page, and maximum 5 additional pages for a total of 6 pages. 2) The paper will consist of six major paragraphs. The first paragraph should contain a brief synopsis of the research; this is easily summarized by the Abstract. If you article doesn’t have an Abstract, then it’s not a professional journal article and you should find another. DO NOT CUT AND PASTE the abstract, rephrase it in your own words. The second paragraph should contain information on the METHODS of the research. Inform the reader as to what kind of study it was (experiment, survey, case report, etc.). State the hypothesis or research question, what is the independent and dependent variable? Was there informed consent? Blind or double blind study? What exactly was measured and how was it collected? How were the research quantified and what statistics were used in the analysis of the data? You need not go into detail with the statistics, just supply the basics as to how they measured what they studied and what the final numbers & results mean in plain English. The third, fourth, and fifth paragraphs are where you discuss any three topics you found interesting in the journal. One paragraph per topic. You make the choice of what those topics are. Discuss them in enough detail to present the reader with a knowledgeable understanding of them. State the main idea of each paragraph in the opening sentence. I ought to be able to read the first line of each of these paragraphs and know what the rest of the paragraph will discuss. These paragraphs should be robust, 10?12 sentences per paragraph. The sixth and final paragraph should draw some inferences as to how this research adds to our understanding of human behavior. For example, how does the material in the article relate to higher human abilities such as: cognitive functions, perception, emotions, development, social or cultural behaviors(s) etc.? How does it enhance our understanding of human behavior? What light does it shed on behavior? Does it answer any questions? How is it useful? How can it be used to improve our knowledge? I’m looking for the bigger picture here. 3. Final product: No fancy folder or sleeve. The first page is the TITLE page (again, see example of title page in Documents), then the review and then a hard copy of the article. Staple them all together in that order, or use a binder clip to fasten them. Remember: Use your own words……don’t cut and paste anything! Do your own work. Page 2 of 2

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