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PSYC 2230 – Fall 2021 Dr. Babb
Paper Assignment (20 points)
DUE DATE: October 28th by 11:59pm. You must submit the assignment on Blackboard, and SafeAssign plagiarism detection software will be used to assess the originality of the assignment.
The purpose of this paper is to have you compare stories in popular media with articles in scholarly journals on a topic related to child development. Often in popular media we see claims made about various topics related to child development (effective parenting techniques, the effects of “screen time” on child behavior, etc.). Although many of these types of articles come from research done by legitimate researchers, sometimes it is unclear if the claims are from studies or from experts in the field, or just based on opinions and anecdotes.
Your task is to find an article or story in a non-academic source (e.g., popular magazines, tabloids, a news item linked on social media) about a topic of your choice related to child development (children ranging in age from newborn to 12 years). Choose a topic that you’re curious about and choose a story/article that makes a claim about something that you want to investigate. You will also find TWO articles from academic sources (using PsycINFO or another academic search engine through the Leddy website) about that same topic. In your assignment, write about what interests you in the topic and then summarize and discuss the findings of the academic articles. See the assignment instructions below. Your written assignment should be double-spaced with approximately 1-inch margins and 12-point font. The text of your assignment, not counting the Title Page and References, should be about 5 pages, but no more than 8 pages, in length.
WHAT YOU NEED TO READ:
Find one article/story from a non-academic online news source, magazine, social media post, blog, etc. The article should be about a topic related to child development (see our course outline for ideas for general topics) and the article/story should contain a claim about the topic. Please save the link to the story if it is online or keep the hard copy of the article/story in case you are asked to provide it during the marking process.
Considering the claim made in that non-academic article, find TWO empirical articles (articles that describe a study with distinct sections like method, results, discussion; but not a meta-analysis) from academic sources that will help you investigate that claim. For example, if the non-academic article makes a claim about how smart phone use by children can lead to sleep problems, you may want to look for articles that empirically test this association. You would not, however, just look for articles on smart phone use, generally. Make sure the articles you choose are relevant to what you want to investigate and are relevant to children, ages 0 to 12 (okay if study is longitudinal and participants are within this range at the beginning of the study but older than 12 at the end). If you have not yet used PsycINFO or other similar search databases to look up articles by key words, you can search journals that have studies related to child psychology (e.g., journals like Developmental Psychology, Child Development, etc.). Please contact the helpful librarians at Leddy if you have any questions on how to search for these journals. Please save the PDFs of the articles in case you are asked to provide it during the marking process.
WHAT YOU WILL WRITE:
Once you have read and understood the two academic articles, write up an assignment that includes the following:
1. An APA-formatted (7th edition) title page (see sample title page at the end of this assignment). Note: This is page 1 of your paper, and you should have page numbers on all pages of your assignment in the upper right-hand margin of the paper.
2. A brief summary of what you read in the non-academic article/story and why it is interesting to you. This should be at least a half-page in length.
3. Summaries of each of the two academic articles. For each one, include the following information:
Purpose of the study/research question Hypothesis/hypotheses or implied hypothesis/hypotheses
· Description of Participants · Materials/Measures and Procedure of the study · Main findings of the study, in words (reporting statistics not necessary)
Each summary should be at least a page in length. 4. For the next 2 to 3 pages, provide a discussion of what is similar and different between the non-academic and the academic articles. Consider the following in your discussion (you do not have to address all the questions within the main points if they are not relevant):
· What seemed to be the initial assumptions of the authors of the three articles about the topic? In the non-academic article, did the author seem to be promoting the claim/taking a side of a debate? Or not? In the academic articles, in the Introduction (section containing background literature) did the authors seem to be presenting evidence in support of certain associations between variables/differences between groups (hint: you might get some clues for this in the hypotheses), or did they provide evidence that supports and evidence that challenges certain claims about the topic. Did the two academic articles propose similar hypotheses prior to the study? Or were they different?
· Based on what you’ve learned about developmental research methodology from the lecture and/or readings in this class, how were the methods of the two academic articles similar or different with respect to the participants who were in the study, as well as the measures/materials and procedure they used in conducting the study? If the non-academic article reported a study, how did those methods compare to the ones in the academic articles?
· Were there any problematic factors (what we call, “limitations”) to the studies discussed in any of the articles? Did you notice any limitations not mentioned in the articles, themselves? (For example, if a study used a sample of children that were mostly of higher socioeconomic status that might have affected their findings.)
5. Finally, provide your conclusions about the claim(s) made in the non-academic article based on what you learned from the academic articles. This should be at least a half-page in length. Consider the following, if relevant: · Was there consistency between the findings in the studies in the academic articles and the claim(s) by the non-academic article? Did they come to a completely different conclusion? Or was it somewhere in between with mixed findings or that some parts of the claims in the non-academic article were supported but others were not? · If there was inconsistency, what might account for that? Do you think the authors might have been biased in their approach? Might the limitations of some of the studies account for the different findings? Explain your response.
· What did you learn about this topic and the claim(s) made by the non-academic article?
· What do you think future researchers should do in their studies on this topic?
6. On a separate page after your paper, provide a 7th edition APA-style Reference section (see examples of how to format references). In this section, provide the reference entries for the three articles you used. Also, make sure to use APA-style citations in the text.
You are encouraged to use subheadings for this paper (e.g., “Summary of Article 1”, “Summary of Article 2”, “Comparison Between Articles”, “Conclusions”, etc.). An introduction paragraph prior to the summary of the non-academic article is not required; you may include it if you would like, but it will not be graded. Please note that the quality of the write up, as well as the content, will be factored into the score given to this assignment.
DISCOUNT CODE FIRST25