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use the attached article and template! this is mandatory!
For this assignments, you will take the role of an expert in the field and write a peer-review on an article. It is fine to use first person when writing this assignment if you need to. However, be careful not to rely on your emotions (e.g., I feel; I believe); rather take a confident stance and use your knowledge to justify your position.
The following two sections make up the scientific peer-review:
Context in which study was run / why this study is important
Methods (most important, main points, only)
Results (most important, main points, only)
Describe why the study is important
Do the authors convincingly justify the study? Is this study important?
Describe something the researchers did well to improve the INTERNAL validity of the study
Describe something that lowered the internal or external validity of the study. Please read all the way to the end regarding discussions of the sample.
Here are some additional things to consider when discussing the method:
Does the design answer the question(s) posed in the introduction?
Are the claims made by the authors supported by their data? Are weaknesses and/or null findings explained sufficiently? Are the results tied back to the big picture (in terms of what was brought up in the introduction and/or future directions)?
Was there a manipulations check? If no, is one necessary? If yes, what did we learn from it?
We will read experimental studies which means that the authors have manipulated the independent variables. Could there be more appropriate manipulation than the one used in the experiment?
Could the results differ in a different context? For example, a study shows that jurors are more punitive toward gay male defendants sexually assaulting a straight man compared to straight male defendants sexually assaulting a gay male victim. What the results could be if both the defendant and victim are gay males?
It is imperative that when you point out a weakness in the study you explain in detail why it is a weakness and how it could be corrected. Simply stating that doing things differently will lead to a different result (e.g., If the researchers used older adults rather than college students, the results could have differed) is not appropriate for this assignment. However, stating how what the researchers have done limits their internal or external validity and suggesting how the could have improved by doing something different will result in a well-designed argument.
When writing, make sure you justify your claims. In the example below, the student points out that there are some concerns about the study sample. Even though the student is correct, the first example (Bad) does not provide justification for the claim; it does not explain why the sample is inappropriate. In the second example (Good), the student explains why the sample is inappropriate by critically applying his/her knowledge of research methodology.
Bad: I believe the authors did not use an appropriate sample.
Good: The sample in this study consisted of only male participants. This puts into question the external validity of the study because the findings may not generalized to female participants. This is of a concern in the current study which examines how attitudes toward homosexuality affects jury verdict because research shows that men and women differ significantly on these attitudes.
Note: The last sentence explains why the results may not generalize to female participants; this demonstrates that the student thinks critically about the study and does not simply use cliché statements.
Please avoid arguments about the type of sample and how the results would not generalize to other samples, (or statements about the small sample size; you actually do not have the sttistical knowledge to determine the sample size needed for each design in order to claim that it is small). First, 90% of the articles that we will read are experiments and external validity is of very little concern for experimental studies; rather the focus is on internal validity. Second, students seem to use this as their go-to argument and fail to critically think about the articles. This results in very weak arguments and poor grades.