Introductory Psychology Writing Assignment


In this assignment, you are going to be a psychological detective. Listed below is a questionable claim. Your job is to find two empirical research articles that scientifically test some aspect of your chosen claim, and to use that evidence to evaluate the claim’s support (or lack thereof).  Marijuana is not addictive. is the claim.     Some Suggested Keywords: (“marijuana” OR “cannab*”) AND (“addiction”)     Sample empirical research article:             Sharma, D., & Money, S. (2010). Carryover effects to addiction-associated stimuli in a group of marijuana and cocaine users. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24(9), 1309-1316. doi:  DO NOT USE THIS ABOVE EXAMPLE Assignment Details  Formatting Guidelines The paper should be 3-4 pages (not including title page and references) in length and should be typed. The entire paper should be double-spaced with 12-point font size. All margins should be one inch.   Paper Outline   Include an APA-formatted title page. Introduce the topic and explain the purpose of the paper Identify which claim you are investigating. Explain why the topic is important and interesting.   Summarize the two empirical research articles that you read. Briefly (no more than a few sentences) describe how you located your sources. Selecting your articles: BE SURE THAT YOU SELECT EMPIRICAL STUDY ARTICLES FROM SCHOLARLY JOURNALS. Empirical study articles present research conducted by the authors (i.e. not literature reviews or editorials).  To ensure that  you’re selecting empirical study articles, check the abstract for references to participants, procedure, and results.  If the abstract does not clearly indicate that this article is empirical search, you can check the text of the article for a “Methods” section.  Your instructor will explain how to find empirical articles in scholarly journals. Your instructor will specify how you should make paper submissions. You should submit online through Launchpad.  In addition, you should submit the two full-text articles you’re citing in your paper.  Your instructor will provide instructions for how these sources should be submitted. Evaluate the sources—do these sources appear credible/trustworthy (i.e. How was the research funded; What was the review process for publication)? Why or why not? (Note: You will need to read the entire article in order to do this – not just the abstract.) Describe what the researchers did in their study. State who was in the study (participants). Include the number of men, women, ages, ethnicities, etc. State how the participants were asked to be in the study (recruited) State what the participants were asked to do. In addition to naming the questionnaires or tasks, also explain what the questionnaires are measuring and what the tasks are. Describe them well enough so that the reader has an idea of what kinds of questions the participants answered or what kinds of tasks they completed. In what ways were the results consistent with the hypotheses/predictions? Any surprising findings? Do not worry about trying to understand the statistics; the author will explain the statistics in the “Discussion” section of the article. What did you perceive as being the strengths of these studies? What were their limitations? III.  Addressing the Claim Draw a conclusion about your claim. Does the claim seem accurate or inaccurate? Be sure to support your answer. When were your articles published? Would you expect the findings to still hold true? Why? Which groups of people do these articles help you better understand? Do these articles help you understand all people, or only certain subgroups (i.e. are there populations for whom you think you’d find different results than those found in the articles – generations, nationalities, race, etc.?). You’re NOT being ask who would be interested in this research, but to whom the findings apply. I Reference Page You need a complete reference for the article that you reviewed. Be sure that your references are in the most current APA style. CITATIONS: One author: Cite the author’s last name and the year the article was published. Example:  In a recent study of reaction times (Rogers, 2012)…or Rogers (2012) compared reaction times… Multiple authors: When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs in the text. Example: (Smith & Smith, 2009). When a work has three or more authors, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al. Example:  (Wasserstein et al., 2012). Citation of a work discussed in another source: If a work is cited in your article, and you did not read the original work cited, you should use the following citation format: (Siedenberg, 2011 as cited in Coltheart, 2013)… Important: Any portion of your paper that contains information from the article needs to be cited. Since you will reference the article you read for this assignment multiple times, you will end up citing that article in your paper multiple times. If you are in doubt about whether you should cite it then cite it! Better to be safe than sorry.

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