Monday, February 20, 2017

Raff's "How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists"

Jennifer Raff is a geneticist, professor, and enthusiastic blogger. She created a useful guide for how non-scietists (like our students) can best approach and make sense of research articles.

The original aritcle is very detailed and explains how to go about making sense of experts. Personally, I appreciate that this guide is born out of trying to debate non-scientists about research. She wants everyone to benefit from science and be able to make informed decisions based upon research. I think that is great.

In the classroom, I think this would be a good way to introduce your undergraduates to research articles.

I especially appreciated this summary of her steps (see below). This could be turned into a worksheet with ease. Note: I still think your students should chew on the full article before they would be ready to answer these eleven questions.

If you are looking for a more psychology-specific guide for learning how to read research, I also love this perennially popular piece by Jordan and Zanna. It may be entitled "How to read an article in social psychology", but it is a good guide to reading research in any psychology discipline. I teach two research-reading heavy psychology electives (Positive and Motivation and Emotion) and I assign this article, and a quiz about this article, during the first week of both classes.

Anyone else have any other suggestions for guides to reading reserach? Lemme know and I'll add them to this post.

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