Sunday, September 24, 2023

How To Critically Evaluate In Psychology

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Television Made Me Do It! They lay quietly in the moist grass waiting for their plan to unfold. Their camouflage clothing helped them to blend into the scenery. No one would be able to see them until it was too late. The plan was quite simple but well thought out. They knew that it would work because they had seen similar ones work before. They both heard the warning signal at the same time.Now it …

Does this work explain observed phenomena? Or does it contradict other observations? Is it describing something, or does it attempt to explain why and how something happens?

For example, Maccoby and Jacklin observed several differences between boys and girls, such as that girls tended to have greater verbal ability than boys, and that boys have greater mathematical ability than girls. This is descriptive, it does not explain why boys and girls were different. If you were discussing work like this, you might want to address possible explanations yourself.

In contrast, Frisch observed adults interactions with babies, and found that adult behaviour differed depending on whether they thought the baby was a boy or a girl. So a possible explanation for the differences between boys and girls could be that they are treated differently by adults depending on their sex. This is explanatory; it offers an explanation about how the sex differences arose, and so opens up the potential for further research.

potential gaps in the knowledge provided which need further research.

2. Summary

How Do You Critically Evaluate Text

Remember: it is important that you write your answer before looking at the commentary as this helps you form your ideas more clearly.

  • Answer each question by typing your ideas in the text boxes.
  • Refer back to the text as many times as you want before or while you answer.
  • Compare your ideas with the commentary.
  • Collect All The Information

    Every research project is based on certain assumptions. The critical evaluation of the topic must acknowledge these assumptions and build upon them.;

    A comprehensive reading of the topic involves multiple references. A quick online search or a trip to the library can give you all the data you need. Consult your peers and professors about credible sources.;

    Also, explore research platforms like JSTOR that catalogue hundreds of journals in alphabetical order. Other media formats like documentaries, blogs etc. can also be inspiration sources.

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    Critical Evaluation In Psychology

    Filed Under: CourseworksTagged With: television

    1. Introduction

    Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional academic writers. Here you can order a professional work.

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    1.1 What will this handout help me with?

    In Psychology, students are often asked to show evidence of critical evaluation in their work. Many students find this difficult, and even those who are told they do it well, often do not understand what it is they are doing! This handout is designed to teach you a little about how to evaluate critically, and what it really means! It is only an introduction with practice, you will learn to develop this important skill for yourself, and you should find that your ability to evaluate critically improves throughout your undergraduate years.

    Sample And Sample Size

    Critical Evaluation Essay Example Psychology

    The degree to which a sample reflects the population it was drawn from is known as representativeness and inquantitative research this is a decisive factor in determining the adequacy of a study . In order to select a sample that is likely to be representative and thus identify findings that are probably generalizable to the target population a probability sample should be used . The size of the sample is also important in quantitative research as small samples are at risk of being overly representative of small subgroups within the target population.

    The risk of sampling errors decrease as larger sample sizes are used . In selecting the sample the researcher should clearly identify who the target population is and what criteria were used to include or exclude participants. It should also be evident how the sample was selected and how many were invited to participate . and both failed to outline details about sampling and sample size that was drawn from research population as well as type of sample used in the studies.

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    The Essay On Reading And Children

    In many instances, students cringe when the words reading and school are said concurrently. Fear immediately arises in most children at the sound of their teachers announcement that they will be reading a book in class. There are two main reasons why children dread a reading assignment: knowing that they must answer tedious questions and knowing it might be a …

    3. When was the text written? Some fields of Psychology are very dynamic; a text that was written 10 years ago would not necessarily be considered useful or accurate now. Try to obtain up-to-date references, but if you are reading a key article from some time ago, remember that ideas evolve over time. Find out!

    4. Where was the work published? Newspaper articles tend to be written for a non-specialist audience and so can be less reliable, for example, than scientific journal articles, which are often peer reviewed .

    This provides you with some confidence about the scientific merit of the published work.

    1.5 What evidence is used to support the arguments made?

    The types of evidence used to support arguments can vary enormously.

    Sometimes, an author will make a claim that is completely unsupported, and will offer no evidence whatsoever to back it up. For example, I could argue that reading this handout will enhance your ability to evaluate critically. This sort of statement should ring alarm bells on what basis am I making this assumption?

    How To Format It

    Always be mindful of these following tips for effectively managing your essay:

    Introductory Paragraph: You must begin the introduction by engaging your readers in your essay. State the title of the work, ;authors name as well as publication information. Create a hook that will hold the interest plus attention of your reader to the next paragraph. Mention the authors thesis as well as highlight your own position on their argument.

    Summary: This is where you should briefly discuss key ideas in the book, demonstrating your keen understanding of overall elements as well as structure used by the author to further his or her thesis.

    Analysis: The first thing to remember when dealing with this part of your essay is that it has to do with evaluation. Objectively analyze the topic, ideas, style, definition, and overall appeal along with effectiveness of the authors message to its audience.

    Your conclusion is the last opportunity you have to impress your reader. Here, you should restate your thesis statement, so drawing a sense of closure by brilliantly linking the last and first paragraphs.

    Make it brief, avoid using unnecessary phrases in your conclusion. Do not create a sense of making an apology for your position. Give your audience your final thoughts on your argument while still maintaining a good sense of balance.

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    Critical Analysis In Psychology: Some Common Pitfalls

    “The sample size of the study was too small.”

    Your critiques need to have evidence behind them. Making statements such as this is fine, as long as you follow them up with your reasoning .

    The study didn’t look at participants of .”

    Traditionally, the area of psychology has tended to focus on WEIRD individuals. This is certainly an issue for the generalisability of research findings. However, if you make this type of statement, you can further demonstrate your critical-thinking skills by talking about why you think this is an issue for the particular topic you’re researching: For example, how might the results of a study differ if a non-WEIRD participant sample had been recruited instead?

    Being too critical.

    Chances are that if a study is a highly cited one in your area, it probably has some merits . You should always be on the lookout for strengths as well as limitations, be they theoretical or experimental .

    Essay Writing Guide For Psychology Students

    How to evaluate a theory or model (IB Psychology)

    By Dr. Saul McLeod, published 2014

    Before you write your essay it’s important to analyse the task and understand exactly what the essay question is asking. It is possible your lecturer will give you some advice – pay attention to this as it will help you plan your answer.

    Next conduct preliminary reading based on your lecture notes. At this stage it’s not crucial to have a robust understanding of key theories or studies, but you should at least have a general ‘gist’ of the literature.

    After reading, plan a response to the task. This plan could be in the form of a mind map, a summary table, or by writing a core statement .

    After writing your plan conduct supplementary reading and refine your plan and make it more detailed.

    It is tempting to skip these preliminary steps and just write the first draft while reading at the same time. However, reading and planning will make the essay writing process easier, quicker, and ensure a higher quality essay is produced.

    Now let us look at what constitutes a good essay in psychology. There are a number of important features.

  • A Global Structure – structure the material in a way that allows for a logical sequence of ideas. Each paragraph / statement should follow sensibly from its predecessor. The essay should ‘flow’. The introduction, main body and conclusion should all be linked.

    Each paragraph should comprise a main theme which are illustrated and developed through a number of points .

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    Issues With Critical Evaluation

    Now, that you know all about critical assessment, let us discuss some problems that students face. There is no checklist for how to think and evaluate a particular topic critically. Organize all the facts and list down the possible questions and contradictions you might encounter.;

    Some students also find it difficult to dissociate their personal biases from their research. The entire point of critical evaluation is objectively assessing the topic. Your job doesnt end with merely presenting the facts. You have to discuss it and build an argument for/against it.;

    Critical analysis, though interesting, can also be distracting for some. Students can sway from their central argument and try to include details not relevant to the topic. If you have an exciting tidbit that doesnt fit in the essay, add it as a footnote. You can even insert a few annotations in the bibliography section.;

    Is There A Better Explanation Available

    An excellent way to approach psychological theories is to look for alternative explanations . You might even be able to find better explanations than the theory you are evaluating has provided. This is really extended your knowledge of psychological theories and is a very challenging piece of critical thinking.

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    Tip #: Ignore Internal Validity Including

    • Hawthorne effect
    • Demand characteristics
    • Participant expectancy effect

    I think you should avoid focusing on internal validity factors when youre trying to explain limitations. Why? Here are a couple of reasons

    #1. The studies you are revising are peer-reviewed and well controlled it would be very difficult for you to find a genuine limitation in the experimental design, unless you were just regurgitating someone elses evaluation .

    #2. Assessing internal validity requires in-depth scrutiny of the methodology, which would require access to the full original article and hours upon hours of time to do for more than one study, even if you could find the original. You could be doing this throughout the course, but for independent exam revision, your time is better spent elsewhere.

    Asking a high school student to independently find limitations in the internal validity of a peer-reviewed study would be like asking them to find limitations in Shakespeares use of iambic pentameter. Whether its research methodology or literary techniques, we want you to comprehend strengths because theyre examples of the masters at work, we dont expect you to find limitations.

    So what should you focus on?

    Is The Theory Applicable Cross

    Essay "Critically evaluate the impact of social and ...

    If a theory is claiming to be able to explain human behaviour and/or mental processes, then it should be able to be applied across different cultures. Most psychological theories are developed in Western countries and so its relevant and useful to challenge the extent to which these theories can be applied in different cultural contexts.

    A useful understanding of Hoefstedes theory of cultural dimensions is useful here.

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    Tip #: Pick Your Battles

    To;properly;evaluate a studys generalizability takes a lot of time. After all, its critical thinking if you want to get in the top 3-4% of students who get 7s, youll take the time. But you may not have time to do this for every study. If you dont have the time , then choose a few of the key studies in the course that you plan on using in both Paper 1 and 2, or other studies that youre planning on using across multiple possible questions.

    For example, you may plan on using Wedekinds sweaty t-shirt study for evolutionary explanations of behaviour ;and;attraction .;If you are, this would be a good study to take the time to evaluate for what reasons might we expect results might not be generalizable? A well-developed argument here could be used in multiple questions.

    Tip #: Focus On Application More Than Evaluation

    This should really be a whole post on its own and I think its perhaps the best advice I can give: you need to place more importance on application than evaluation.


    Application means you can explain conclusions from the study as they relate to the question youre answering. A lot of students dont do this and its a massive mistake thats easily avoided. They just describe aims, methods and results and then forget to explain how the study is relevant to the question. This shows lack of understanding and makes it hard to get in the top markbands for SARs and essays.

    One reason application is more important than evaluation is because you need to explain studies in;all;questions in Paper 1 and Paper 2 evaluation only happens in the essay sections.

    Its theoretically possible to get a 7 without any evaluation of a single study in your exam. Therefore, focus first on understanding the study and how it can be used to support arguments before going further and finding limitations.

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    Tip #: Focus On Generalizability For Limitations

    Generalizability refers to whether or not the same results of the study can be applied to other contexts, including:

    • Other people
    • Other places
    • Other situations

    Therefore, in order to evaluate a study based on generalizability, you dont need to remember any more details of the study than you would normally. Just make sure you know something about either the participants;, and/or the basic procedures .

    If you know these basics, you can explain why the study may not apply to other people, places, or situations.

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    How To Evaluate Any Study In 3 Simple Steps

    Components Of An Effective Critical Essay Psychology

    Travis Dixon

    Being able to critically evaluate a study is a key skill for any budding psychologist. However, like anything, when youre first learning how to do this it can be very difficult. In this post, we look at 3 simple steps you can take to evaluate any study.

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    Teaching Tip:;You could use this as a class activity by having students choose one study and following these steps by themselves.

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    Tip #: Use Controls For Explaining Strengths

    If youre evaluating a study you can explain strengths as well as limitations. The studies you will be using are well-controlled and carefully designed, so it should be easy to show you understand research methodology to explain how the use of one or more controls or other design choices are a strength in the study. However, this may also require finding original publications, depending on how detailed your review resources are.

    Studies are really carefully designed, so focus on internal validity for strengths and external validity for limitations.

    • A good example is Banduras use of matched-pairs in the Bobo Doll study; they matched the kids on aggressiveness to control for participant variability as a confounding variable.
    • Another example is in Maguires Bus v. Taxi driver study where in their statistical analyses they controlled for age, education, driving experience and even handedness .

    An excellent explanation of a control as a strength of a study would include how the factor being controlled for might affect the results.

    Concluding The Critical Analysis

    This is the last part of the critical evaluation process. The conclusion is where you can reflect upon the findings of the essay and put in your two cents. It is a section where you reinstate your points to remind the reader of the central questions raised in the article.;

    End your assignment with a bibliography and proper citations. Check out the referencing guide on your university website for more assistance. You can also explore online citation generators like CiteFast to save time.

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    S For Writing Excellent Critical Analyses

    If considering crafting a critical essay analysis perfectly, here are various steps to take:

    • Step 1.

    When reading, it is not enough to skim, but scrutinize, instead. It is important that you understand basic elemental ideas and keynotes contained in the work.

    • Step 2.

    In essay writing, ;failing to make an outline often means planning to fail. Always maintain a viable process for establishing a supporting framework as you develop your ideas. Writers who make use of a process are bound to produce better quality essays than those who care less about it. ;

    • Step 3.

    Be mindful of word limit requirements for an entire article and ensure not to exceed it. Make effective use of your paragraphs and include only notes that are concise and accurate in critical analysis structure.

    • Step 4.

    Before submitting your academic paper, it is important that you meticulously search for errors to avoid misunderstanding that may arise on account of spelling or grammar issue. When proofreading, pay special attention to spellings, grammar, punctuations, quotes and references.

    • Step 5.

    How do you polish your essay after evaluation and discussion of ideas? Check all words that you used to express your ideas within paragraphs and consider introducing better vocabulary for improving weak words without redefining their basic meaning. Cite all;information sources used and acknowledge their author.

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