Psychology scientific reading assignment | Psychology homework help

Scientific Reading Assignment
EXAMPLE

Instructions: This assignment is designed to help you practice reading empirical articles. This will help you when writing your final paper and in future research and classes. There are three articles posted to Blackboard for you to choose from. Pick the one that interests you most then answer the following questions. While these don’t have to be answered in paragraphs, please answer each question in complete sentences. Questions have multiple parts, and it is important that you answer every question.

Article: The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice

Vezzali, Stathi, S., Giovannini, D., Capozza, D., & Trifiletti, E. (2015). The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(2), 105–121. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12279

1. What are the main hypotheses being tested? What is it that the author is trying to find out? (10 points)

The author is interested in how reading Harry Potter may reduce prejudiced attitudes. They want to know if Harry Potter would replicate findings from research done on studies created to reduce prejudice.

2. Give some examples of the rationale for the study in your own words. What previous studies have been done that support the hypothesis? (10 points)

Previous research has found that knowing that someone in your in-group has had contact with an out-group can reduce prejudice. Studies by Cameron and colleagues from 2005 and 2006 have found that when children read stories about friendships between in-groups and out-groups, they were less prejudiced.

3. Describe the participants in this study. Where were they recruited? How many are there? What characteristics are used for inclusion/exclusion criteria? Do you think this is representative of the population they are trying to study? Why or why not? (5 points)

34 students in a fifth-grade classroom in northern Italy. They were mostly girls. This was a project done within the classroom with consent. It may not generalize to other countries or age groups. The translation of Harry Potter may impact the findings. Other age groups may have more formed opinions.

4. What sorts of materials are used in testing the hypotheses? Describe the scales and other measurements that are taken. (5 points)

Two measures from Liebkind and McAlister’s (1999) attitudes towards immigrants scale were used. They also looked at identification with Harry Potter and the books/movies that participants previously read. This study also used two different passages from Harry Potter as the experimental and control.

5. Explain the procedure used in this study. Is this a survey, experiment, longitudinal study, etc.? Are there any interventions used? Essentially, what happens to the participant in the study? (5 points)

Participants read one of two passages in an experiment. The two passages represent the experimental group and the control. Afterwards, their attitudes towards immigrants are tested.

6. With the understanding that you may not understand all of the statistics that go into this, do your best job at explaining the results of the study. Do they support the hypotheses? (5 points)

This study found that only for those who identified with Harry Potter, those in the experiment group reported less prejudice than those in the control. This somewhat supports the hypothesis.

7. What does the author conclude regarding this study? (10 points)

The author concludes that this indicates there is some evidence that supports the idea that Harry Potter passages may reduce prejudice.

8. What are some strengths and limitations of the paper? Give examples from the paper along with some of your own thoughts. (10 points)

This has a very small sample in a limited demographic. It also only represents the short-term effects of reading one passage. Furthermore, it compares two passages from the same book series and realistically, a reader would be exposed to both. However, it does utilize an experimental design that can help us determine causation. It also does study a population that would likely read the book.

9. Give some future directions for this research. What questions do you have for other studies? (10 points)

Future work might look at how this series compares to another series or other intervention. How would the results look over the course of a few years?

10. What are your overall thoughts about this paper? Do you think the design of the study was good for what it was testing? Is there something you’d do differently? (10 points)

The design of this study did not really test what the authors were interested in. It compares two paragraphs from Harry Potter meaning that we can’t really determine what would actually happen if someone read the full book. In the future, using more book passages would be beneficial. It also had a really limited sample. More classrooms could be incorporated to have more confidence in the results.

Summary: For the summary, include what you think is important information from the questions above. The summary should be 200-300 words, and if someone read it, they should be able to understand what the study was and what it was about. (20 points)

This study looked at how reading Harry Potter passages impacted prejudiced attitudes. Previous findings have shown that reading about in-groups and out-groups has reduced prejudice in readers, but these findings were limited to passages that were designed for this purpose. To test the effectiveness of reading Harry Potter, the researcher had 34 students in an Italian fifth-grade classroom read one of two passages from Harry Potter where one dealt with prejudice and the other did not. Participants then responded to a survey about their attitudes regarding immigrants. While both groups appeared to enjoy the passages equally and previously have similar attitudes towards immigrants, the researchers did find an effect of the experimental condition. However, these results were limited as they found only those who identified with the character of Harry Potter had an impact of being in the experimental vs the control group. While these findings do suggest that Harry Potter can impact attitudes, they come with several limitations. Notably, both the experimental and control groups were reading Harry Potter which limits its external validity. The study could also benefit from having a larger sample size, more variety in the study’s demographics, and follow-ups. However, this does present interesting results that support the notion that reading can help reduce prejudiced attitudes in children.

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