Journal Article Critical Review

Journal Article Critical Review Task (20%)


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This task is designed to help you apply critical thinking principles when reviewing research articles. For this assessment, you must apply critical evaluation skills to, and write a critique of, a research paper that will be provided to you in Week 1 of term. When writing your review, you must address each of the following questions:

1) What is the overarching problem or issue being addressed in this article? Is it a problem/issue worth investigating (why/why not)?
2) Think about the authors of this text:
a) Are they authoritative/expert (you may wish to Google the authors to get a sense of whether they are experienced, and have published works in the field)?
b) Do they have a biased agenda or perspective (e.g., based on where they work, or the funding they receive)?
c) Did they declare a conflict of interest (this information is, generally, found at the end of the report), and how might this impact the study, or its findings?
3) Are their arguments…
a) Based on sound theory (e.g., do they propose a framework that guides their study)?
b) Well balanced (e.g., with alternative sides of the argument/s addressed)?
4) Have testable hypotheses been proposed (if so, what are they)?
5) Is the methodology ethically sound (what might some of the ethical issues be)?
6) Regarding the design of the study:
a) Was the study based on a correlational or causal design (hint: was a control group used?)?
b) Was the research methodology appropriate (e.g., does the study provide enough details on the materials and method used in order to adequately test the research question be)?
c) Is it replicable (i.e., do you have enough information to run the experiment again)?
7) In relation to the participants:
a) Who were the participants, and how were they recruited?
b) Do the participants form a representative sample, and can the results be generalised to the wider target population with confidence?
8) What are the major results (specify at least two findings)?
9) Relating to the discussion:
a) Are the conclusions based on logical reasoning (i.e., do the major findings support the hypotheses you mentioned in Question 4, or do they selectively report and discuss data that suits their conclusion)?
b) Are you convinced by the author’s conclusions, or do the results need to be verified in other conditions?
c) What might some alternative explanations for the results be, other than those mentioned?
10) What is the main contribution of the study to the research topic?

Important notes:

When you submit your answers, please include the questions above and your response below it (QandA style). There is no need to write your critical review in essay/paragraph form.
Write out your answers in a Word document, and when you are finished, copy and paste the text into the submission textbox when prompted. You will not need a cover sheet etc.

You do not need to reference the article you are critiquing. You also are not required to find and cite external references to support your critique. There are no marks allocated to referencing in this task. Of course, you can refer to the article if you like, and if you do, please include a reference list and ensure its formatted to APA style.

Article to Critique
The article that you will be required to critically examine will be advised, and made available here, in Week 1 of term.

The article to review is:

Bègue, L., Bushman, B. J., Zerhouni, O., Subra, B., & Ourabah, M. (2013). ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder’: People who think they are drunk also think they are attractive. British Journal of Psychology, 104(2), 225-234.

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