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– Demonstrate broad knowledge, understanding and application of specific topics
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– Demonstrate broad knowledge, understanding and application of specific topics in social and developmental psychology- Demonstrate understanding and interpretation of key empirical studies in developmental and social psychology through critical analysis and evaluation.- Construct a clear summary of a paper and critically evaluate the rationale, methodology, results and conclusions. Draw conclusions about the validity of results and the usefulness of its findings and suggest areas for improvement- The summary (approximately 700 words) should contain a brief synopsis of the topic and focus of the paper and the methodology and results of the paper. It should be accurate, concise, and clear. A reader who is unfamiliar with the area should, upon reading the summary, understand the purpose and outcomes of the study, without recourse to other materials. It should not just be a lengthier regurgitation of the original abstract.- The critical evaluation (approximately 1300 words) is the student’s own evaluation of the paper. This can include, for example, evaluating the theoretical development of the study, the methodology or the analyses and results. A good critique of the paper should:
(a) Provide some indication that the student has clearly read and understood every section of the paper.
(b) Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the study and indicate how and why they are a strength or weakness through reasoned arguments.
(c) Include recommendations for how the research study might be improved.
(d) Provide detailed justification of named strengths, weaknesses and recommendations with reference to empirical research to support your claims.
(e) Demonstrate knowledge of related research (by citing additional published papers accurately).FOCUSED POINTS:
1. What is the topic and focus of the paper?
• Provide some brief background to the study
• Identify the rationale
• Summarise the aims and hypotheses3. What is the methodology used?
Please include details such as:
• Summarise the sample (size, demographic, recruitment strategy)
• Identify the design (quantitative, longitudinal, cross-sectional, experimental?)
• What was the method & what measures were used? (e.g., questionnaires, interviews, observation, experimental manipulation)
• What was the procedure (if applicable)?
• How was the data analysed (e.g the statistical tests used to test the hypotheses (quantitative)
• Concise summary of key findings that relate specifically to the aims and hypotheses.
• Authors conclusion (think about overall ‘take home’ message within the paper and any potential implications of the findings)2. Please critically evaluate the study by identifying the key strengths and weaknesses of it. Please ensure that your ideas are fully justified and backed up by reasoned arguments and with reference to empirical evidence. Aspects you could consider include:
• Was there a strong rationale underpinning the study?
• Were the methods used appropriate? Pro’s/con’s?
• Was an appropriate sample used?
• Were the findings clear?
• Did they use the appropriate analysis strategy? (e.g statistical tests or theoretical approach)
• Are there any confounding variables they have not considered?
• Were conclusions valid or is there another way to interpret findings?
• Was the study reliable and valid?
• What are the implications? Are they weak/strong?3. How could the study be improved? And why?
For each weakness identified, please make a suggestion for how the study could be improved. These need to be reasonable and valid suggestions for improvements, backed up by empirical evidence. Try to be as specific as possible, providing detail as to how/why this would improve the study.