Psychology – Human Development

Psychology – Human DevelopmentPsychology - Human Development

Human Development
Written Assignment

For this assignment, you will be tasked with choosing a topic or a concept that was covered in the material for this unit. After you’ve selected a topic, you will find a scholarly research article that describes a scientific study that fits within the topic/concept you have chosen. Once you have your topic and your article, you will write a short summary of the article.

Assignment Requirements

  • Your summary must be:
    • between 500 and 800 words
    • typed in 12pt Times New Roman font
    • double spaced
    • submitted by the due date to the appropriate Dropbox (you’ll be submitting with Turnitin).
  • Article topics must be selected from topics within the discipline of psychology.
  • About any topic or phenomenon from Chapters 1-6 of your textbook.
  • (You can access my textbook via,
  • password: Xx3472431_vs, book title is HDEV.
  • The research article…
    • must be current (no more than 5 years old)
    • must come from peer-reviewed, scientific journals. (See below if you are unsure of how to find a peer-reviewed article).
    • must be a research article (MUST HAVE SECTIONS LABELED “METHODS“, “RESULTS” & “DISCUSSION“)
    • must be available in English

STEP 1 – Coming Up With a Topic

The best thing you can do is pick a topic that interests you – your curiosity and enthusiasm really help maintain the focus and drive to produce a great paper. If you’re having trouble thinking up ideas, here are a few suggestions:

  • Review your class material – syllabus, reading assignments, class notes and discussion.  Was there anything that intrigued you that you’d like to know more about?
  • Check the news for brand-new developments, or things that everyone’s talking about.  Find the blog of your professional society, such as the American Psychological Association and see what’s new.
    • The source you use to build your assignment should be scholarly, that doesn’t mean your inspiration has to be.  Find out if the popular news got anything wrong, or if the real story is more complicated than the blog post (it always is).
  • Bounce around in a database, either a general one like OneSearch Articles and More or Academic Search Premier, or a subject-specific one like PsycINFO or PsycArticles.  Try broad terms and skim the first pages of results for something that looks interesting.
  • Skim through a psychology encyclopedia or try some terms from class in Wikipedia.  Do some background reading, follow links to other articles, check out specific people or experiments.  Background information is a great place to start and mention lots of topics in passing that make for great research ideas.
  • Talk to someone!  Your friends and classmates, your instructor’s office hours, schedule an appointment with the psych librarian or walk up to the librarian at the Research Help desk – sometimes the best way to brainstorm and decide what idea sounds most interesting is to try and describe it to someone else and bounce ideas off another person out loud.

 What is a Journal VS an Article?

  • A JOURNAL is a collection of different documents (e.g. articles, letters to the editors, reviews, etc.) on a particular subject area.
  • An ARTICLE is one type of the documents found in journals.

STEP 2 – Finding a Research Article (How to identify a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article?)

 What are scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles?

Scholarly articles are those that are reviewed by multiple experts from their related field(s) and then published in academic journals. There are academic journals for every subject area. The primary purpose of scholarly journals is to represent and disseminate research and scholarly discussions among scholars (faculty, researchers, students) within, and across, different academic disciplines.
Scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles can be identified by the following characteristics:

  • Author(s): They are typically written by professors, researchers, or other scholars who specialize in the field and are often identified by the academic institution at which they work.
  • Purpose: They are published by professional associations, university publishers or other academic publishers to report research results or discuss ongoing research in detail.
  • Language: They are highly specialized and may use technical language.
  • Layout: They will cite their sources and include footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations and/or a list of bibliographic references.
  • Content: They may include graphs and tables and they undergo a peer review process before publication.

Also check: Assessment 4: Health Promotion Plan Presentation


Helpful tips for finding scholarly articles:

  1. Limit your search to peer-reviewed journals only. Some databases allow you to limit searches for articles to peer reviewed journals only. For example, Academic Search Complete has a check-off “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Articles” filter:


  1. Another way to find out if a journal is peer-reviewed is to go to the journal website.
  • Most publishers have a website for a journal that tells you about the journal, how authors can submit an article, and what the process is for getting published.
  • If you find the journal website, look for the link that says information for authors, instructions for authors, submitting an article or something similar.

STEP 3 – Writing Your Summary

Objective: Write a 500-800 word college-level paper in APA format, in which you analyze one scientific, peer-reviewed research article in the discipline of psychology.

Things to include:

      • What were the researchers trying to discover (i.e. what was the hypothesis or purpose)

This is usually found at the beginning of the article.

Usually the hypothesis or statement of a problem appears at the end of the review of the literature, most often in the last or next to last paragraph.  The words that indicate that it is a hypothesis are, “We will examine. . .” or “Our hypothesis is . . .”

In a statement of a problem, the researcher may say, “We plan to see if a relationship…,” “We proposed to observe…,” or” The problem we proposed to study…”   (You must use your own words—do NOT use quotes).

      • How was the research conducted (research design or type of study)?
        • Is the research descriptive (case study, naturalistic observation, laboratory observations, surveys, tests), correlation, experimental, or developmental? For more information on research methods, refer to chapter 1 of your text.
      • When and where the research was conducted?
      • How long did the study take?
      • Who were the participants? (number [N], age, sex, criteria to be a part of study)?
      • What did the researchers actually find in relation to their hypothesis or purpose?
        • ARTICLE MAY STATE: The researchers found that . . .
      • What limitations did the researchers reveal?
    • SUMMARY/CONCLUSION (PURPOSE: to show critical thinking in regard to the research)
      • How does the information in the article integrate with information from class discussion, the text, and/or other information in the discipline?

**remember to include an APA style reference page with your summary (don’t worry, this won’t count against your word limit)

 STEP 4 – Submitting Your Assignment

  • Make sure to have your summary submitted to the appropriate dropbox (you will be using Turnitin) by the due date. No late assignments will be accepted so…please plan ahead.
  • If you are unsure of how to submit your assignment please, for the love of all that is good, speak to your instructor ahead of time.

Contrary to popular belief, we are not waiting, poised by our computers at 11:59pm, to make sure there are no technical difficulties. We are old.

We are tired. We have gone to bed. If you leave the submission until the last minute and your run into an issue and cannot get it uploaded, you will receive a zero as your grade.


Psychology – Human Development