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Psychology 242
Research in Psychology
Dr. David J. McKirnan

Week 3.
Formulating research questions

Lecture notes

This week we go to the basic features of a scientific question.  We will spend most of the time discussing where research questions come from, and some key terms: Key terms: The lecture notes are here.


Suggested background reading: Developing hypotheses (or the eqivalent) in whatever text you are using.Early Hominins

Focus Modules:
Research steps; the hour glass model

For lecture & Discussion Group:

Discussion Group

Analyze a journal article

Research HourglassFor this week you will describe the core parts of a journal article using the “research flow” from lecture.  I have provided two for you to choose from, but you can use any article that reports an experiment. Both are from the same French research group, investigating alcohol use and aggression.

Read the guide to research articles first – it will show you how to efficiently find the key parts of an article, and will help a lot with this assignment and your paper.

You may also find any other article published in a psychology journal.  Find instructions on how to use the web to find your own article (which you will have to to for your paper eventually) below and in the guide to research articles.

You will find that these and other journal articles test several hypotheses, and may analyze multiple variables.  For this assignment pick one hypothesis from one article to analyze: keep it simple!!

Read the paper, and answer the following, using no more than one typed page:

  1. What is the Phenomenon being addressed?
  2. Very briefly, what is the Theory?
  3. What was the hypothesis tested by the study?
  4. Was the hypothesis supported by the data?
  5. What conclusions can we reach about larger phenomenon from this study?
  6. What other research might be useful to clarify the phenomenon?

How to search for Psychology research articles
The most powerful search service at UIC is ISI Web of Knowledge.
  1. Click "Library" at the top of the UIC home page.
  2. Click “databases A to Z”.
  3. On the alphabet ruler, click “W”, then click "Web of Knowledge." (Bookmark this page)
  4. Enter terms in the search fields to focus your search – with practice you will be able to go right to the articles you need.
  5. Once you get your references you can easily download the citation, abstract or the entire article – we will be discussing that process in group during Week 5.