Article Analysis

The article analysis is a “dissection” of an empirical study. You should identify all the important design elements as well as relate the author’s findings to relevant theories or other studies. To help you read the article, you can use the “How to Read a Journal” and/or the “Critiquing Research” handout. As a summary of the article and a way to facilitate discussing the article in class, you will need to answer the following questions:

NOTES: If the article reports on multiple experiments, focus your answers to the following questions on the last one. Pay
close attention to any figures and tables.

1) Identify the following:
a) Independent variable(s): Specify their names in APA format (i.e., capitalized) and the specific levels of each.
b) Dependent variable(s): Specify in a name or short phrase and note how it was measured. If there are more than two,
select the two most important.
c) The primary experimental hypothesis?
d) Important concepts: State the main ideas and concepts underlying the research. Modern articles show this in the
form of keywords. If it is an older article, you will need to and for this information from the abstract and/or
Introduction section. If you are stuck, look up the article in sake info and see how it was cataloged via the keywords.

2) Identify at least one operational definition: just as with the Operational Definitions homework assignment, pick either an
IV or a DV and specify how it was manipulated or measured.

3) What are important theories/empirical findings related to the study?
a) Theories. What theory/ theories informed the work?
b) Empirical findings: most of this will be found in the Results section. State the main findings in your own words.

4) Specify the experimental design in the same way that you previously did in the Identifying Variables and Experimental
Design homework. Use these templates:
a) For one IV: “This was a [within-subjects; between groups] ___________ experiment with IV Name (Level
1, Level 2, etc.) with _____________ as the primary dependent variable.” [Choose
b) For multiple IVs: “This was a 2 (Variable 1 Name: Level 1, Level 2…) x 3 (Variable 2 Name: Level 1,
Level 2, Level 3…) [within-subjects; between groups] ___________ experiment with _____________ as
the primary dependent variable.

5) Identify at least one control variables or conditions: These are factors that the experimenter held constant, but are not
independent variables. For instance, an experimenter might have used only males, or only students within a certain age
range, etc. They may have controlled the ambient level of noise, light, etc., or used a certain instrument calibrated a
certain way. They may have used remote recording devices that turned on and off for specified periods of time at random
intervals, etc. They may have recorded only those responses that occurred within a pre-defined time frame or only kept
data from participants who responded above a certain threshold of accuracy, etc.

6) Identify a confounding variable (if any): Confounds are difficult to identify as they are, almost by definition,
hidden, in the sense that they are either directly connected to, or correlated with, an independent variable. The classic
example is the highly reliable correlation between ice cream sales and murder rates. These are truly correlated, but the ice
cream sales variable is confounded with temperature. Hot weather causes people to get cranky and contributes to hire
murder rates, but if you did not recognize this, you might be tempted to infer that there is an actual connection between
ice cream sales and homicides. This is pretty common with correlations; with an experiment, it can be harder to find
compounds, because they are more controlled and take place in specified settings.

7) Address how the confound above could be corrected.
8) What statistical analyses were conducted? Check Results for this!

9) Did the results support the hypothesis?

10) What critique did the author(s) offer for their own study or how did they suggest the study could be extended #THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT ARTICLES FOR WHICH YOU HAVE TO ANSWER ALL 1-10 QUESTIONS FOR EACH ARTICLE.

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