The purpose of this assignment is to practice my skills in understanding how information on psychology is reported in the popular media. Sometimes researchers have biases or other motives for how they portray a particular study, and sometimes, once a study comes out, reporters or journalists do not always know how to explain or interpret the results.
Your task is to find one psychology-related article about human behavior and/or mental processes in the popular press. Note: The article you choose must be about a psychological study of some kind, not just someone’s personal opinions or perspectives on a psychological issue. The article should NOT be from a scientific, professional journal, but instead come from a popular online source such as Buzzfeed News, CNN, Sciencedaily, US News, etc. Once you select an appropriate article (feel free to ask me if something you’ve found is appropriate), critique this article using the questions below.
You are welcome to answer the questions by number, or in an “essay” format. In either case, answers should be double-spaced and the completed paper should be about 3 pages long:
Create a Title Page, in APA or MLA format.
At the top of the next page, identify the article you are discussing, using APA/MLA format
Number and answer the following questions when critically analyzing the article:
What does the headline of the article appear to be claiming or suggesting? After reading the article, does the headline seem accurate, or was it misleading in some way?
Based on what is reported in the article, what kind of a study seems to have been conducted (e.g., experiment, survey, case study, observational study)? If the journalist who wrote the popular press article was not clear on what kind of study it was, explain what kind of study it most likely was and why you think so.
Based on what is reported in the article, what was the sample (who/what was being studied)? Can you think of any issues or “red flags” regarding who/what the survey was based on?
Based on what is reported, what did the original study researchers find out (write in your own words, don’t just quote)? What implications or applications does the journalist who wrote the popular press article suggest from these findings?
Name at least TWO criticisms you have of the article and explain your critique (e.g., biased sample, problems with the method used, or errors in critical thinking). Does this article appear to be responsible and appropriate reporting, or is it misleading, distorted, or biased in some way?
In your opinion, based on your evaluation, does this sound like a useful study? Give a few reasons why or why not.
Be sure to proofread your writing to eliminate ALL errors in spelling/grammar/style.
Finally, attach a hard copy or a working hyperlink for the popular press article you are critically analyzing.
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