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PSYCH 2B Research Methods in Psychology
Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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1.   Take 5 minutes to write about a research topic you are interested.

For example, here is a paragraph about how people tend to have an emotional rather than a rational response to election campaigns:

Emotions seemed to play a large role in the 2016 election campaign.  Whether in fake news, social media, or personal discussions, emotions such as anger, fear, and anxiety overruled rationality, logic, and factual evidence.  I am interested in the psychology of people’s emotional responses to politics and political campaigns.  How do strongly held beliefs and values get in the way of dialogue?  How are emotions manipulated in political campaigns?  What are some strategies for re-inserting logic and evidence into political discussions, political campaigns, and the creation of public policy?

Identify keywords that can be used to find an article in the library databases:

politics || elections || emotion || beliefs || attitudes || rational || facts

2.  Search for articles in the Psychology & Behavioral Sciences  Database

  • Use your keywords to search for articles.  You may have to play around several different ways of expressing the same idea.   You can also try searching your folk theory as a phrase:  "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"
  • Limit to Full Text and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.
  • Click on the article title to get full information about it. You can click to print, email, or cite the article.  Remember to select APA Citation.

If you end up with an abstract or summary (but not the whole article) and it's perfect for your research:

  • Request a copy of the article through Interlibrary Loan. 

3.    Search for articles in Google Scholar 

  • Use your keywords to look for articles in Google Scholar
  • Be sure your article is anempirical study from the field of psychology
  • If the article is not full-text, request for free it through Interlibrary Loan

4.   Search for articles in SuperSearch



You will choose a scientific article and prepare a class presentation (approximately 10 minutes in length total).

In your presentation of the scientific article, you will discuss the background literature that the study was based upon, the design and methods (including the independent variables, the dependent variables, hypotheses, operational definitions, and procedure), results, and discussion. You will also write a critical report on your article. In your report, you will include scientific reasons why you liked or disliked the articles and propose and carried out a follow-up study to either address the issues you raised or follow-up on the research findings. Finally, you will evaluate the scientific value of your classmates’ presentations.

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