For each Journal Article Summary, you will choose an article to review and use the Journal Article Summary Form to complete the assignment. The article you select must be a peer-reviewed journal article in the field of cognitive psychology. The article must also be a primary source, meaning that the authors are discussing their own research, not others’ research (e.g. review articles). Do not use an article that conducted a meta-analysis. It is ideal to select an article that you will be using in your paper; however, this is not a requirement. If you use an article that does not meet these criteria, you will not receive credit for this assignment. See the example below for detailed explanation of the required material for each question. Submit the completed form and a PDF of the article being reviewed. All material must be in current APA format.
Journal Article Summary Example:
- APA reference of article being reviewed
Write the reference for the article as if it were in the reference section of your paper.
- What is the research problem that is being investigated? What is the purpose of the research being conducted?
Provide the “why” behind the paper. Why have they conducted this experiment? For example: “These experiments were designed to explore the role of second order conditioning in anxiety disorders.”
- What is the research question?
The research question is more specific. What is the specific question or questions the article will answer as a result of the study or experiment? For example: “Are adolescents more sensitive to the memory imparting effects of alcohol?”
- What are 2 or more theories that are discussed in the Introduction? How are they used to motivate (or set up) the research question? Do the authors agree or disagree with these theories?
Simply restate the theories discussed in the introduction in your own words. State how these theories are driving the research questions. If the authors’ hypothesis is correct, will it support the theory or be inconsistent with the theory? You should have good idea of where the authors stand based on the evidence presented and the arguments they are making.
- How is the research question operationalized? First, identify the abstract constructs being studied. Next identify the concrete way these are being observed or measured. This should include your IV and DV.
A construct is an abstract explanatory variable that this not directly observable (e.g. memory). The concrete way the construct is measured will point you to the dependent variable (DV). For example, if the paper is concerned with memory, the DV may be the number of items recalled. The independent variable (IV) could be the amount of sleep each participant was allowed the night before the test. Remember that we cannot directly measure many of the constructs that are studied in psychology, so it is important that we identify how they are being operationalize in each research study.
- What is the research design (i.e. between or within subjects, what type of statistical tests were used, what were the levels of each variable)?
This information will be in the methods section of your paper. Be sure to provide enough detail to describe how the study was designed.
- Describe the results (but not their broader implications). Were the results significant? Which ones? Do these support or not support the hypothesis?
Describe the result in your own words. For example: Group X were able to recall significantly more words than Group Y. This finding supports the hypothesis that manipulation Y would reduce recall.
- What limitations are mentioned? Why are these limitations theoretically interesting?
Limitations can be found in the discussion section of the paper. If a limitation is that they didn’t have X control group, then explain in your own words why that is important. Does it change the interpretation of the findings?
Submit each Journal Article Summary by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned module/week.