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PSYCH 2B Research Methods in Psychology
Last Updated: Sep 7, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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The Reader's Brain - Yellowlees Douglas
Call Number: Main Stacks - BF456.R2 D677 2015
Publication Date: 2015

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Failure: Why Science is so Successfull - Stuart Firestein
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Publication Date: 2015

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Psychological Health of Women of Color - Lillian Comas-Diaz & Beverly Greene eds
Call Number: Main Stacks - HQ1161 .P79 2013
Publication Date: 2012

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Pieces of Light - Charles Fernyhough
Call Number: Main Stacks BF378.A87 F47 2013
Publication Date: 2013

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The Joy of Pain - Richard H. Smith
Call Number: Main Stacks BF575.E65 S65 2013
Publication Date: 2013




Here are four pairs of conflicting folk theories:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder Out of sight, out of mind
Many hands make light work Too many cooks spoil the broth
Birds of a feather flock together Opposites attract
You're never too old to learn You can't teach an old dog new tricks

Find one empirical article relevant to your theory.


1.   Take 5 minutes to write about what your folk theory means in your own words.

For example, here is what one student wrote about "Absence makes the heart grow fonder:"

Underlying this folk theory is the idea of loss and subsequent desire: when an individual loses a possession, he or she will experience an increased longing for that particular possession simply because of its absence. With respect to this particular theory, I hypothesize that those individuals who are deprived of a desirable food will experience an increased craving for that food compared to those who have regular access.

Here are some keywords that could be used to find an article in the library databases:

deprivation || loss || craving || desirable food (chocolate!) || food habits

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

--TS & DD, revised EH & MM Fall 2013



PSYCH Research Methods Assignment

Psych 2 Advanced Research Methods

Open a Word document and type your name. Save to Desktop.

Assignment #1: Folk Theory

Here are four pairs of conflicting folk theories

1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder    vs.   Out of sight, out of mind

2. Many hands make light work      vs.    Too many cooks spoil the broth

3. Birds of a feather flock together    vs.    Opposites attract

4. You're never too old to learn    vs.    You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Choose ONE of these conflicting theories, then:

a. Write a description, in your own words, of what the folk theory means

b. Formulate a hypothesis that allows you to test some aspect of the theory

c. Create a list of key terms, based on your description and hypothesis, to use for your scientific article topic search.

d. Find one empirical article that is relevant to your hypothesis. Preferably, the article supports or refutes your prediction.

e. Briefly explain both the method and results of your empirical study, and show how it either supports or refutes the theory.  

f. Provide a reference in APA format for the article that you cite in your summary.

Begin writing a draft of this Assignment in your Word document.

When you formulate your hypothesis (Step b), think like a psychologist! Think how you might devise an experiment to test your hypothesis.

Once you have an hypothesis, generate a list of key terms -- words that you can use to search for that scientific article on your topic.


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