October 19, 2012
PSYC 2001 T: Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology
(Page: 38-48 Chapter 2)
Finding and reading the research:
In order to base beliefs on empirical evidence rather than experience, intuition or
authority you need to read about that research.
Consulting Scientific Sources: journal articles, chapters and books:
• They come out monthly
• They are found in academic university libraries or in academic databases.
Empirical journal articles: report for the first time, the results of an (empirical) research
study. They contain details about the study method, the statistical tests of an empirical
Review journal article: provide a summary of all the research that has been done in one
Before being publishes in a journal both empirical articles and review articles must be
peer-reviewed. Both types of article are prestigious forms of publication by psychological
2) Chapters in Edited Books:
Some psychologists may describe their research in a chapter of a book. Some edited book
is a collection of chapters on a common topic. Chapters are not peer reviewed like in
journal articles. The editor of the book is careful to invite only experts, not researchers.
Audiences are psychologists and students.
Apsychologist might also describe their research in a full-length book
Tool for sorting through the vast number of psychological research article is a search
engine called PsycINFO, which is maintained and updated weekly by theAmerican
What will you find in an empirical journal article?:
Abstract: provides a concise summary of the article. It is about 120 words with a brief
summary of the hypothesis, method and results.
Introduction: is the first section of regular text. Typically explains the topic of the study.
The idle paragraphs lay out the theoretical and empirical backgrounds. Method: explains in detail how the researchers conducted their study. Contains
subsections, participants, materials, procedure and apparatus.
Results: describes the quantitative and relevant results of the study.
Discussion: generally summarizes the study’s research question and methods and
indicates how well the data supported the hypothesis.
Reference list: a bibliographic listing of all the articles used.
Reading with a purpose: Empirical JournalArticles:
• Don’t read every word, skim
• Ask yourself: what is the argument? And What evidence is used to support the
• Empirical articles are stories from the trenches of the theory-data cycle.