I know I’ve been putting lots of non-book stuff on here as of late, but hey it’s my blog and I can do with it what I will. Anywho, today’s tangent…
I’m taking yet ANOTHER research methods class. I don’t know how many times you need to learn the same thing over to get how to do research, but apparently some people need it. By the time you are taking a 300-level research methods class, especially as a psych major, you really, really, REALLY, ought to know how to evaluate an empirical article.
I was doing research using empirical articles and formatting papers in the ‘dreaded’ APA format in high school. How difficult is it really? If you want to get a degree in psychology it goes without saying you do LOTS of research, and just about every paper or project you work on, you’re going to be using empirical articles.
The first thing the professor assigned was to find an article of interest, print it out, read it, blah blah blah. I can understand this, you want to make sure that people know how to read through these articles. Apparently, not everyone can… There was at least one person who pulled a FOX News article instead of one from a journal. Are you kidding me?! 300-level psych class and you think journal article refers to FOX News?!
It gets better than that though, because there were people who couldn’t pick out simple information from the title page. People who when asked about how the researchers came to the conclusion could not figure it out. I understand that for some people you might not fully comprehend each step taken, that is in fact mentioned in the methods section, because you haven’t actually done research before, but you ought to be able to FIND it.
Needless to say, I spent most of my morning class in disbelief as I watched people struggle to figure out how get the information needed from a peer-reviewed journal article. Sad thing is, some of these kids will be doing research and practicing psychology (like, with patients!) in the future, and they haven’t even figured out how to get the particulars from a 10 page article. I shudder to think about the effect of such stupidity – for lack of a more elegant and sensitive term.
With that off my chest, I now head home since my University has closed for the afternoon/evening thanks to more snow.
How’s your day?
I presume that these are undergrads? Or at least I hope so!
On my last course I don’t think anyone had any problems with research – well, not that I know of anyway. Personally I like doing research and found it to be 75% of the fun. Writing the essays was often hard work – sometimes more than others.
How was my day…..? Basically SSDD (Same Shit Different Day). I think I need a new job…..
These are indeed undergrads. Thankfully. I fear for the grad student who can’t do research.
I also like doing research. I really enjoy the entire process of researching, data collection/analysis, and even writing up the results. I’m one of those weird folks who doesn’t mind hanging out in the library basement with notes all over the place until one in the morning.
As for the new job, I can’t really help you there. I do hope you find something to put a little ‘oomph’ in your day though.