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Critique of Media Report

Assess the impact and relevance of research in psychology on people’s everyday lives.

Evaluate critically information about research studies published in the media and offer constructive alternatives.

As you go about your everyday life, keep your eyes open for media reports of studies that have psychological content, you will select one media report in a newspaper (e.g., and, a popular magazine (e.g., and, or on the Internet that describes a psychological study.

Read the report carefully, asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is the research problem?
  • How was the study conducted?
  • What were the results?
  • What conclusions does the report imply?
  • Are the conclusions warranted by the research described?
  • You may find that you cannot answer one or more of the questions listed above. Do not be overly concerned about this. The most central questions to be answered are:
  • What questions would you like to have answered before you accept the conclusions implied in the media report?
  • Were there any distortions in reporting? If so, what were they?
  • If the original source of research is indicated in the media report, you may wish to locate the original report or journal article and use it to help you assess the accuracy of the media report. You are not, however, expected to do so. Most media reports fail to cite the source in enough detail to allow one to locate the original report.

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