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PSYCH 122 - Research Methods

Use this guide to complete your Psychology 122 research assignment

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Research as Conversation

Scholarship as Conversation

Knowledge and understanding are developed over time by scholars, researchers, and professionals debating and discussing issues from varying points of view.

Think of the sources you read to explore your topic (articles, books, films, videos, images, or websites) as different threads in a conversation. Just like blog comments, each source expresses different ideas, observations, discoveries, or interpretations of the problem or issue.

 As you read your sources, try to figure out how they relate to each other:

  • Do they agree? 
  • Do they contradict each other?;
  • Do they help you understand your issue from a different perspective? 

So when you read your sources, think about the story they're telling you and about what they each have to say about that story.

By actively reading your sources as if you're participating in an interesting, complex discussion, when you write your paper, you'll be able to demonstrate to your teacher that you have a deeper understanding of your topic and you'll become a part of the professional discourse about your topic.

Why a Literature Review Matters

Your teacher is giving you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the evidence, methods, and modes of discussion in the literature about your topic so that you can conduct your experiment and explore your topic from an informed perspective. You do this in your daily life too. Before you choose a new lotion, take a new medicine, or go on a trip, you try to read everything about it so you can make an informed decision.

In your case, before you embark on designing an experiment you need to know what has already been written and studied on that topic so that you can create a sound hypothesis and predictions to explore.