A script for research:

How to read and interpret a research article


Research is typically conducted in the same way you will see it written up in a journal.

I. Out in the cold or the "big picture."

A.   The general question.

B.   Who/What it concerns.

C.   Why we should care/ the historical significance.

II. The burning question

A.   Who has asked this or similar questions before?

B.   How have these questions been answered?

C.   What is the current state of knowledge?

D.   What we still don't know---

III. Fuel for the fire (the proposed research)

A.   Population

B.   Method proposed and why chosen

1. Dependent/Independent measures.

2. Appropriate technique to getting at this issue.

C.   How the data are collected and how they will be analyzed.

IV. The conflagration (enjoying the effort)

A.   The data!

B.   Interpretation/ statistically significant findings (or not).

V. Global warming or how the data adds to our knowledge.

A.   Back to the big picture.

B.   The write-up of the article.

C.   Reviews, reviews, reviews…

VI. The cooling off period (being humble).

A.   New questions raised.

B.   The next study!

Journal articles may be found in the following:

Child Development

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Developmental  Psychology

Cognitive Development

Human Development

British Journal of Developmental Psychology


Developmental Psychopathology

Merrill-Palmer Quarterly

Journal of Developmental Disorders

Developmental Neuropsychology

Journal of Child Language

Human Development

Child Abuse & Neglect

Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse

Infant Development

Journal of Autism and Development

Journal of Adolescent Research

The Journal of Genetic Psychology

Journal of Marriage and Family

Youth & Society

Social Development

American Journal of Mental Retardation

Journal of Family Issues