For assignment 3, you will read a peer-reviewed journal article related to this week’s topics. You will notice that the article is missing some key components. Namely, the article is missing a title, abstract, and a conceptual model that offers a visual representation of the relationships being tested. Therefore, your task this week is to populate the pieces that are missing from this journal article. The purpose of this assignment is to identify and succinctly describe the central elements of the article and provide some explanation of what the researchers were examining.
As a first step, read the study, then address the items below (1.5 points per item):
- Write a short abstract summarizing the important details in the article. To get a sense of the structure, feel free to lookup other journal articles or consider using the articles from previous assignments as examples. At a minimum, abstracts for journal articles should include (a) the purpose of the study (including a breakdown of the research questions), (b) a description of the research design, (c) major findings from the study (or studies), and (d) a brief summary of interpretations and conclusions. Do not copy complete sentences directly from the article, you should be able to paraphrase these different pieces in your own words. Typically, abstracts are approximately 250 words or less (most journal publications are very strict about this!).
- Draw a conceptual model. Visual diagrams help an audience understand the relationships being examined among variables. For this, you’ll first want to identify the focal variables in the article (HINT: There are four–not including controls, and they are the same in studies 1 and 2). Next, you’ll want to diagram the relationships being tested using shapes and arrows to display the variables and direction of the relationships. This can be done in MS Word or PowerPoint (and most word processing applications). In case it helps, here are some templates (HINT: you can draw the relationships as one model or two separate models, your choice). Also, make sure the model captures each hypothesis that is being tested as determined by the arrows in your diagram.
- Provide a brief explanation of the model. Now that you have visualized the model, provide an explanation for what the model posits. Specifically, what is the relationship between the independent (predictors) and dependent (outcomes) variables (i.e., positive, negative? Strong, moderate, weak?). What about mediators or moderators (if any)? (HINT: this can probably be explained in 3-4 sentences or less).
- Come up with a title for this study. Be as creative as you like, but keep it concise and make sure it captures the article’s main contribution.
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