As an alternative to SONA experiment participation, you may summarize and critique a developmental psychology research study described in the popular press [i.e., from a reputable news website like The New York Times, Slate, Wall Street Journal, etc.]. You may select any topic you like, as long as it pertains to development. You may not use the articles that were assigned for the pop science responses.

To complete the assignment, you must also locate the original research paper. A single write-up should be 300-400 words long, and each individual write up is worth one SONA credit [1% extra credit for the course]. You many submit up to three of these write-ups to replace SONA credits, for a total of 3% extra credit in the course.

Each write-up consists of two parts. The first involves a brief summary of the study from the original research paper:

Briefly explain the idea that the authors intended to test [hypothesis].
Briefly describe the design of the study [methods].
Briefly summarize the general findings of the study [results].
State the conclusions that the researcher[s] drew from the findings [discussion].
The second portion involves a brief critique. A critique must include commentary on the following set of issues related to how the original research paper was interpreted by the popular science article:

How well did the popular science article describe the findings of the original research report? In what ways [if any] did description deviate from the findings in the original report? How might the popular science article be improved to better convey the findings? Did the author of the popular science article present his or her own perspective in a way that influenced your interpretation of the original findings?
It is up to you to find a study to summarize and critique in each of your write-ups. Be sure to include references to the sources you consult for each write-up, including both the popular science article and the original research paper.

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