Literature Summary and Analysis

Points: 25


As a social science, the field of psychology is founded upon research, both qualitative and quantitative. In studying psychology, it is critical that one become familiar and comfortable with reading peer reviewed primary research articles, which present the structure and findings of research studies to the psychology community and beyond.


You are asked to find a peer-reviewed primary scientific article of interest to you in the field of social psychology, published in recent years (within the past five years maximum). If you need ideas for topics to search, review the topics covered in our textbook, e.g., attribution error, hindsight bias, altruism, influence, prejudice, attraction, stereotyping, etc. The article you review must be a primary empirical study published in a peer-reviewed journal (i.e., no editorials, book reviews, meta-analyses, or article responses).

For more information about the meaning of peer-reviewed journal articles, see

Note: A peer-reviewed journal includes peer-reviewed articles. An article is a summary of one particular research study in a journal. Do not refer to articles as journals.


  1. Thoroughly read one article that you have chosen because it addresses a research topic of interest to you and is primary, peer-reviewed research dating to within five years.
  2. Summarize (do not plagiarize) the article by providing each of these elements (2 pts each). Do not quote the article; write these elements in your own words.
    1. Research question(s)
    1. Methodology
      1. Population(s) (N = XX, n = XX)
      1. Means by which researchers gathered data, e.g., survey, assessments, observations, interviews 
      1. Research findings—what did the researchers learn? (This is not the same as results, which are raw data that you will not include.)
  3. Evaluate the research study for two of its strengths and two of its limitations
  4. Discuss two implications of the research findings (i.e., explain how the findings may be important for policy or theory)
  5. Discuss two applications of the research findings (i.e., explain how the findings may play an important role in solving practical problems that often have an impact on life, work, education, health, and overall well-being).
  6. Explain your personal response to this article and the researchers’ findings in a solid, well written paragraph including examples from the article (use the first person for this one paragraph only).
  7. Submit your summary hard copy in class on the date listed in the syllabus.
  8. You will be given a cover sheet document in class to staple to the top of your paper before your title page.


Write a full 2.5-3 page, double-spaced summary. Per APA style, use Times New Roman, 12 point font, with 1” margins on all four sides of the page, and pagination (page numbers). Print on single side of paper. An APA title page is required for this assignment (see for template of the APA 7th ed. title page.

The use of APA style is critical in psychology. When you refer to your article or any other source, be sure to include in-text citations, page numbers where required for quotes, and a References page. On the Reference page, write the full reference for your article in proper APA format. Remember that in addition to direct quotes, paraphrasing an author’s words or ideas also requires in-text citation; if this is not included, the work has been plagiarized. If you need a refresher on APA style for in-text citations and References pages, see

IMPORTANT: In addition, before you submit your work, be sure to edit and proofread carefully for spelling, correct grammar, punctuation, complete sentences, proper vocabulary selection (choosing the correct word to say what you wish to express), and other hallmarks of excellent writing mechanics. It is helpful to have someone else read your work and provide feedback on the organization and flow of your thoughts, as well as proofreading errors, such as incorrect spelling or typos. We all make mistakes in our writing and need help to do our best work.


Assignments will be scored as follows out of 25 points:

Article summary                                                         8 points

Strengths and limitations                                            4 points

Implications and applications                                     4 points

Personal response to the article                                  3 points

APA format, citations, and references                        3 points

Writing mechanics                                                      3 points

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