Psychology is a science and based on scientific methodology to establish, support, and refute psychological theories and systems. For any student, whether he or she is a psychology major or not, it is important to understand and be able to access past and current research.

There is also a difference between primary and secondary resources. For our purposes, primary resources are the actual research usually published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. These journals contain articles reviewed prior to publication to ensure accuracy. The study, including the hypothesis, methodology, and results, is detailed as intended by the author or authors.

Secondary sources, on the other hand, use information from primary sources. These sources interpret, conclude, and may even take information out of its original context. Typical secondary sources are magazines, newspapers, blogs, Wikipedia, television programs, and business (.com or .org) Web sites. For academic writing, especially in psychological research, it is important to use primary sources when writing on a particular topic.

You will use the South University Online Library databases to access a research article that deals with behavior or psychology in general. The article should not be more than four years old. You will need to be able to access the full text of the article. Therefore, make sure you select full-text articles. For assistance in accessing the South University Online Library review the library guides.

Locate one primary source research article that deals with behavior or psychology in general. The article should not be more than four years old.

After your research, answer the following questions to complete your essay:

  • What was the purpose of the research? (Hint: In a typical research paper, this will be located in the introduction.)
  • What were the methods used to conduct the research? (Hint: The methods section contains details about the participants in the research, the measurement tools or apparatus used in conducting the research, and the methods on how data would be collected.) Explain how the research was conducted.
  • What were the results of the research? (Hint: The results usually depict only the data of the research, not its interpretation. Often, the results are described in terms of the research questions [hypothesis].)
  • What were the conclusions of the research? (Hint: This is where the researchers conclude and discuss the results and how they supported or didn’t support the research questions.)

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