You need to access the blackboard:

The main purpose of longer, written response is to better hone your writing skills. As you
continue through your classes, you will need to become equipped to handle longer written
responses as well as critically think through concepts. This first response is designed to
help you better understand the essential differences in written Psychology works.
Your response should be typed, printed, and turned in at the beginning of class on the
given due date to receive full credit for this assignment. If your paper has more than one
page, you must staple it before handing it in. I highly discourage attempts to write
assignments the night before they are due, as this decreases the time you must properly
edit your response.

Writing Prompt
On Blackboard, you will choose one of three popular science articles (secondary
sources) that reports on a topic of your interest in behavioral research and interpret some
of the conclusions made by the journalist. Then, following this, find the primary article
that the report is based on and respond to both. Let the secondary source help you
identify the authors, their credentials, and the date of the publication.
Content of the Assignment
900-1,000 words total.
Let the following prompts and questions guide your response.
The largest content of this assignment should be dedicated to reflecting on the
research itself, with your own unique thoughts.
State the purpose of the research. In a few sentences, discuss what background is known
about the topic and what the popular article says is contributed to the field. If the
secondary source is sensational, explain what makes the article interesting to the public
or what made you choose this article over the others. (Yes, it is okay to use first person

Introduce any construct used, and any conceptual and operational definitions used within.
Who conducted the research, and where are they located?
Discuss what hypothesis was generated for the course of the research.
What methods did the authors use (experimental or non-experimental)?
How did they decide their sample? What is the n (number of participants)?
What statistical test (or tests) did the authors use to find their results? What significance
levels did the authors set for their p-value? (Note: Don’t worry if you don’t understand
the mathematics of the test!)
What conclusions did the authors of both sources come to? Properly cite ideas from your
source to support conclusions made. Citations should be in APA format.
What did you learn from reading both the secondary source and the primary article?
Do you find the results valid, and if so, what forms of validity fit your ideas?
Specific Instructions
(1) Find the secondary source! You will find the three secondary sources on
Once you find a secondary source article, find the primary article it is based on using
the sources we discussed in class (Google Scholar, PubMed, etc).
If you need additional help with this step, you may contact me
([email protected]) or you may contact the UMB Healey Library staff, who
can assist you in accessing a database.
The original, primary article must come from a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal.
Remember, primary papers have been critiqued by those who practice the scientific
method. There is also a list of publication journals in your book, in case you are unsure
you have found the right primary source.
(2) Be sure to attach printed copies of the articles you are discussing on the final due
date. The articles should be the original copies that you worked with, including any
hand-written notes or highlights you have made in reading the paper. Please make
sure that the paper’s references are included.
(3) Be sure that your writing reflects your thoughts and opinions on the difference
between secondary and primary sources. If most of your assignment is made up
of quotes, that constitutes plagiarism (


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