Presentation on theme: "Reading the Literature"— Presentation transcript:
1 Reading the Literature Psych 231: Research Methods in Psychology
2 Why review the literature What is the underlying motivation(s) for doing a review of the literature?Getting ideas.What has been done, what hasn’t been done?Avoid past mistakes.Understanding the relevant theories.What variables are important?
3 What is the literature?Primary Sources - essentially reading the original reportJournal articlesEdited books (sometimes)Professional meetingsElectronic publishing (fairly new, pluses and minuses)Faculty members & other personal communicationsSecondary Sources - reading a report of the reportLiterature ReviewsPsychological Bulletin, Annual Review of PsychologyText booksCitations in books and articles
4 What is the literature? Secondary Sources: Advantages: Disadvantages: Good starting placeOften reviews a lot of relevant literatureRelatively brief descriptionsDisadvantages:Somebody else’s descriptionMay be incorrectMay be biasedNot enough detail
5 How do I search the literature? Reference sections of articles, book chapters, and books.Searchable databases (largely replacing printed databases)PsycInfo, PsycLit, Psychological Abstracts, etc.Social Sciences Citation Index – who has cited a particular paper
6 Literature search problems the library doesn't have itAsk the librarian for helpinter-library loan:UIUC library (hours posted at: )
7 The time line of research reporting Start time (this process may take days to years)Get your idea, run your study, analyze the dataReported resultsPresent at a conferenceSubmit written research reportPeer review process
8 The peer review process Submit the research report to editor of desired journalEditor selects 3 to 4 peers to review the paperThis is sometimes a ‘blind’ processEach reviewer reviews the paper & sends editor recommendationTypically first time submissions don’t get acceptedRevise and resubmitEventually the paper is either accepted or rejected“In press” it may be up to a year before an accepted article appears in printTypically it takes up to two years between initial submission and final acceptance
9 The time line of research reporting Start time (this process may take days to years)Get your idea, run your study, analyze the dataReported resultsPresent at a conferenceSubmit written research reportPeer review processPublication in a journalCited in other researchCited in textbooks
10 The time line of research reporting YearsSend tojournalStartsworkFinisheswork1234567813Journal publicationTextbooksConvention paperAnnual ReviewPsych AbstractsCited in articles
11 Reading a research article What's the goal of a research article?The reader to:Know about the researchUnderstand what was doneBe convinced by the research (hopefully)Standardization of research report formatAPA styleOrganization and content reflects the logical thinking in scientific investigationStandardization helps with clarityRead with a critical eye
12 The anatomy of a research article The basic parts of a research article :Title and authors - gives you a general idea of the topic and specifically who did itAbstract - short summary of the articleStates the issue, the methods, major variables of interst, the findings, and the conclusions(in 120 words or less)First contactShows up in PsycInfoGets skimmed before reading the article
13 The anatomy of a research article Introduction - gives you the background that you needWhat are the issuesWhat is/are the theory(ies)What does the past research sayWhat the rationale for doing this researchWhat are the specific hypothesesReading checklist1) What is the author's goal?2) What are the hypotheses?3) If you had designed the experiment, how would YOU have done it?
14 The anatomy of a research article Method - tells the reader exactly what was doneEnough detail that the reader could actually replicate the study.Subsections:Participants - who were the data collected fromApparatus/ Materials - what was used to conduct the studyProcedure - how the study was conducted, what the participants didReading checklist1 a) Is your method better than theirs?b) Does the authors method actually test the hypotheses?c) What are the independent, dependent, and control variables?2) Based on what the authors did, what results do YOU expect?
15 The anatomy of a research article Results - gives a summary of the results and the statistical testsReading checklist1) Did the author get unexpected results?2 a) How does the author interpret the results?b) How would YOU interpret the results?c) What implications would YOU draw from these results?
16 The anatomy of a research article Discussion - the interpretation and implications of the resultsReading checklist1 a) Does YOUR interpretation or the authors' interpretation best represent the data?b) Do you or the author draw the most sensible implications and conclusions?References - full citations of all work citedAppendices - additional supplementary supporting material
17 Next WeekDownload and read the Strayer & Johnston (2001) article for lab next weekHave a good Labor DaySee you on Wednesday