Be sure you have read over the description of this assignment in the Syllabus.  There is a grading rubric for it in the Doc Sharing section.  The overall goal of this assignment is to do a critical comparison/contrast of the sources of information available in psychology; In this case, one is to be a more “pop” (as in “popular”) psychology source and another more scientific/empirical.  When we say pop psychology  we are usually referring to television (e.g., Dr. Phil video clip on YouTube) or Internet sources (e.g., blogs) where people present psychological ideas in their own way, reflecting their own biases, experiences, or subjective perceptions (this is related to our discussion in Module 1).  This means it is usually less science/data-driven and more opinion-driven.

As you should know by now, by empirical research  we mean it should come from a science source, a research literature search in PsycINFO – a report of a science-based studyof some area.  Again this reflects our discussion last week.  This means a study that collected or reviews data and reports on it, uses it to propose answers.  These can be found in a lot of places and a good place to start is the SLU Library which has a wide range of online/electronic search options and electronic journals. There is a PsycINFO tutorial in the Doc Sharing section.  PsycINFO is a search engine for finding psychology studies in journals.

To make this task meaningful, it is best that the pop psychology and empirical sources be about the same idea/issue and that the area is one that is of interest to you (e.g., addiction, domestic violence, relationships, aggression, depression, child rearing, or so on) so that what you are comparing is the sources of the information on a topic and  not the topic itself .


PSY 110HA Compare and Contrast Critique Guidelines and Rubric Students shall locate one source of popular psychology (i.e., pop psychology) and one source of empirical research. Sources of pop psychology include television shows (e.g., Dr. Phil video clip on YouTube) or internet sources (e.g., blogs or news snippets). Empirical research should come from a literature search in PsycINFO. After locating these two sources, students are to critique the merit of the information using critical thinking concepts and standards. Students should use basic APA style guidelines (1” margin, 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced) and critiques should total 2-3 pages.


~3 pages of text ( not including BUT MAKE SURE THERE IS A  title page, abstract page or reference page ).


Critiques should address the following:

1. What is the question or issue addressed?

2. Who is asking this question?

3. What data and facts are used to support the assertion? Where do these data and facts come from?

4. Be sure to provide a link or a source the non-empirical reference as well!

5. What inference is reached based on these data? Do these data, in fact, support the claim being made?

6. Are there other points of view or ways of explaining the results or assertion made?

7. Is this a reliable source of information based on your analysis?  

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