Writing Assignment #1
Reodiger and Gallo’s excerpt entitled Reading Journal Articles in Cognitive Psychology is useful to a newcomer in the world of psychology. Psychological journals are generally aimed at experts in the field and can obviously be difficult to read for someone with only a basic understanding of the science. The format can be confusing, the graphs and tables may be difficult to read, and there is sure to be many words that aren’t in the reader’s vocabulary. However, Roediger and Gallo’s article provides a psychology rookie with the tools necessary to break down and understand a cognitive psychological research paper.
When talking about the Methods part of a research paper, the authors explain that this section is usually broken up into four subsections: the participant or subject section, the design section, the apparatus section, and the procedure section. The authors dedicate a paragraph to each subsection and they inform the reader of what to expect when reading those sections in an actual research paper. Especially for me in particular, knowing what to expect before jumping headfirst into a reading is extremely useful, and Roediger and Gallo do a good job of breaking down this section of a paper.
The results section is generally the most important part of any research paper, however it can also be one of the most difficult sections to understand. The numbers presented in research papers are almost never raw data, and interpreting what that graphs and/or tables actually mean if often quite challenging. The authors discuss briefly about some of the different types of statistics that would be presented in a research paper, and how the reader can determine how significant they are. This is an area where I ...
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... research paper, but also to someone who intends on publishing their own research in the future.
After the conclusion of the paper, the authors provide a list of questions the reader can ask themselves while reading a journal article in cognitive psychology. They break the questions up by section, which is a simplistic and helpful way to approach a difficult reading. I find these questions to be particularly helpful because they’re questions the authors, who are experts in the field, ask themselves while they are reading a research paper. As the authors are well versed in the field of psychology, their advice was obviously coming from a position of experience and knowledge, and was broken down in a way that made it easy for the reader to understand. Overall Roediger and Gallo’s tips for reading cognitive psychology papers were very useful, although somewhat general.
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