Unit 06

Unit 6:
How to Synthesize Psychological Science
Unit 6: Assignment #1 (due before 11:59 pm Central on MON JUL 9):

  1. To learn why it’s important to synthesize psychological science and to learn how to synthesize psychological science, watch Professor Gernsbacher’s lecture video, “How to Synthesize Psychological Science.” (A transcript of this video is available here.) Make sure you learn (from the lecture video):
    1. the difference between synthesizing psychological science and Mad Libbing it;
    2. why it’s preferred to place citations at the end of a sentence (in parentheses);
    3. why you should almost always write about behavior and phenomena, not researchers and their studies; and
    4. how to synthesize conflicting results (e.g., using “However, …”).
  2. To practice synthesizing psychological science:
    1. Read the abstract of Plester, Wood, and Joshi’s (2009) article, “Exploring the Relationship Between Children’s Knowledge of Text Message Abbreviations and School Literacy Outcomes.”
      • Identify and write down, using only one sentence, this article’s major finding.
    2. Read the abstract of Plester’s (2008) article, “Txt Msg N School Literacy: Does Texting and Knowledge of Text Abbreviations Adversely Affect Children’s Literacy Attainment?
      • Identify and write down, using only one sentence, this article’s major finding.
    3. Read the abstract of Kemp’s (2010) article, “Texting Versus Txtng: Reading and Writing Text Messages, and Links with Other Linguistic Skills.”
      • Identify and write down, using only one sentence, this article’s major finding.
    4. Download and save on your computer this fillable PDF.
      • Rename the unfilled PDF to be YourLastName_PSY-225_Gernsbacher_Synthesize_Fillable.pdf. In other words, add your last name to the beginning of the filename.
      • On your computer, open a PDF writer, such as Preview, Adobe Reader, or the like. Be sure to open your PDF writer app before you open the unfilled PDF from your computer.
      • From within your PDF writer app, open the unfilled PDF, which you have already saved onto your computer and re-named.
      • Use your PDF writer app to fill in the PDF.
    5. On the first page of the PDF, fill in the blank spaces with
      • a first Supporting Sentence, which will be the sentence you created in Step b1. above;
      • a second Supporting Sentence, which will be the sentence you created in Step b2. above;
      • a third Supporting Sentence, which will be the sentence you created in Step b3. above; and
      • a Conclusion Sentence, which you will need to write.
      • For this assignment, you do not need to use any citations. We will get to citations later in this Unit.
  3. To get more practice synthesizing psychological science:
    1. Read the abstract of Palmer and Schloss’s (2010) article, “An Ecological Valence Theory of Human Color Preference.” Identify and write down, using only one sentence, the article’s major finding.
    2. Read the abstract of Schloss and Palmer’s (2014) article, “The Politics of Color: Preferences for Republican Red versus Democratic Blue.” Identify and write down, using only one sentence, the article’s major finding.
    3. Read the abstract of Schloss and Palmer’s (2011) article, “Effects of University Affiliation and ‘School Spirit’ on Color Preferences: Berkeley Versus Stanford.” Identify and write down, using only one sentence, the article’s major finding.
    4. On the second page of the fillable PDF, fill in the blank spaces with
      • a first Supporting Sentence that you created in Step c1. above;
      • a second Supporting Sentence that you created in Step c2. above;
      • a third Supporting Sentence that you created in Step c3. above; and
      • a Conclusion Sentence.
      • Again, you don’t need to use any citations; we’ll get to citations later.
  4. To get even more practice synthesizing psychological science:
    1. Read the abstract of Blom et al.’s (2010) article, “Effectiveness of an Internet Intervention for Family Caregivers of People with Dementia: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Identify and write down, using only one sentence, the article’s major finding.
    2. Read the abstract of Bonnert et al.’s (2017) article, “Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Adolescents with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Identify and write down, using only one sentence, the article’s major finding.
    3. Read the abstract of Kaldo et al.’s (2015) article, “Guided Internet Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Compared to a Control Treatment – A Randomized Trial.” Identify and write down, using only one sentence, the article’s major finding.
    4. Read the abstract of Kypri et al.’s (date) article, “Web-Based Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for University Students: A Randomized Trial.” Identify and write down, using only one sentence, the article’s major finding.
    5. On the the third page of the fillable PDF, fill in the blank spaces with
      • a first Supporting Sentence that you created in Step d1. above;
      • a second Supporting Sentence that you created in Step d2. above;
      • a third Supporting Sentence that you created in Step d3. above;
      • a fourth Supporting (though potentially conflicting) Sentence that you created in Step d4. above; and
      • a Conclusion Sentence.
      • Again, no citations needed for this assignment.
    6. Save your now-completely-filled-in PDF.
  5. Go to the Unit 6: Assignment #1 and attach your filled-in PDF.
    1. The Unit 6: Assignment #1 link is an Assignment link, rather than a Discussion Board link, so it will look a bit different than you’re used to.
    2. Click “Choose File” to attach/upload your filled-in PDF.

Unit 6: Assignment #2 (due before 11:59 pm Central on MON JUL 9):

  1. To continue practicing synthesizing psychological science:
    1. Return to the 9 articles you found in Unit 5: Assignment #1 and saved as PDFs in Unit 5: Assignment #3.
    2. For the three articles you previously read thoroughly (by applying your chosen scientific-article-reading strategy) for Unit 5: Assignment #4, identify and write down, in one sentence, each article’s major finding.
      • Remember to synthesize each finding, rather than Mad Lib it.
      • If you’re still not clear on the difference between synthesizing findings rather than Mad Libbing them, review the lecture video, “How to Synthesize Psychological Science.
      • Remember the goal is to write about behavior and phenomena, not researchers and their studies.
      • Again, no citations are needed for these sentences (we’ll focus on citations in the next assignment).
    3. Now read thoroughly the remaining six articles (by applying your chosen scientific-article-reading strategy).
      • Then, identify and write down, in one sentence, the major finding of each of these six articles.
      • Remember the goal is to write about behavior and phenomena, not researchers and their studies.
      • And, again, don’t worry about citations for these sentences.
  2. Go to the Unit 6: Assignment #2 Discussion Board and create a new post in which you list all 9 sentences you’ve written synthesizing the major finding of each of your 9 articles.

Unit 6: Assignment #3 (due before 11:59 pm Central on TUE JUL 10):

  1. Now, let’s focus on citations.
    1. You previously learned (in Unit 5: Assignment #4) how to generate APA-style citations for a reference list.
    2. In this assignment, you’ll learn how to create APA-style citations for what’s known as in-text citations.
    3. By in-text, we mean a citation that is within the body of a scholarly article or term paper, rather than at the end in the reference list.
    4. Although you can also use a citation generator, such as Citation Machine™ and Cite Fast, to create in-text citations, some in-text citation contexts are quite specific.
    5. Therefore, even if you’re using a citation generator, you should refer to the College of St. Scholastica Library’s (2017) handout, “Citation Help for APA, 6th Edition: In-text Citations” to ensure that your citation generator is following the specific rules.
  2. To practice writing in-text citations, choose three of the 9 sentences you wrote for Unit 6: Assignment #2.
    1. Choose one of your previously written 9 sentences that is about an article that has three to five authors.
      • Re-write that sentence to place the citation at the end of the sentence in parentheses and provide all authors’ last names (p. 3, “Three to Five Authors: First Parenthetical Citation”).
      • Then, for this same article, write a second (new) sentence and also place the citation at the end of the sentence in parentheses, but this time use the et al. convention (p. 3, “Three to Five Authors: Subsequent Parenthetical Citations”).
      • NOTE: If none of your articles have three to five authors, state that in your Discussion Board post.
    2. Choose another one of your previously written 9 sentences.
      • Re-write that sentence to include a quotation from the article.
      • The correct way to include the page number(s) of any quotation is on p. 2 “Quote with author’s name in text.”
      • However, if the article has more than one author, you’ll need to modify the citation format for “Two Authors: First In-Text Citation,” “Three to Five Authors: First In-Text Citation, or “Six Authors: First In-Text Citation.”
    3. Choose another one of your previously written 9 sentences.
      • Re-write that sentence to place the in-text citation at the beginning of the sentence.
      • If the article has only one author, see p. 2 “Paraphrasing with author’s name in text.”
      • If the article has two authors, see p. 3 “Two Authors: First In-Text Citation.”
      • If the article has three to five authors, see p. 3 “Three to Five Authors: First In-Text Citation.”
      • If the article has more than five authors, see p. 3 “Six Authors: First In-Text Citation.”
  3. For the remaining six of your 9 sentences, place the in-text citation at the end of the sentence in parentheses.
    1. If the article has only one author, see p. 3 of the College of St. Scholastica Library’s handout for the entry titled “One Author: First Parenthetical Citation.”
    2. If the article has two authors, see p. 3 of the handout for the entry “Two Authors: First Parenthetical Citation.”
    3. If the article has three to five authors, see p. 3 “Three to Five Authors: First Parenthetical Citation.”
    4. If the article has more than five authors, see p. 3 “Six Authors: First Parenthetical Citation.”
  4. For any of your 9 sentences, if the article has six or more authors, you must always use the et al. convention, see p. 3, “Six Authors.”
  5. Go to the Unit 6: Assignment #3 Discussion Board and make a new post in which you list your 9 sentences (or 10 sentences, including your new “et al.” sentence) with your in-text citations.

Unit 6: Assignment #4 (due before 11:59 pm Central on TUE JUL 10):

  1. Because we’re talking about citations, it’s a good time to talk about plagiarism.
    1. To refresh your memory about the more common versions of plagiarism, read the appendix from TurnitIn’s (no date) article “The Plagiarism Spectrum.”
    2. To learn about more subtle forms of plagiarism, read Azman and Fox’s (2013) PowerPoint, “Understanding Plagiarism … With Some Help from Dr. Seuss.” If you’ve never read Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, or it’s been a long time since you read it (or had it read to you), watch this video prior to read Azman and Fox’s (2013) PowerPoint.
    3. To better understand what “common knowledge” is (and the situations in which common knowledge doesn’t need to be cited), read Bowdoin College’s (no date) article, “When to Cite.”
  2. Using the one sentence you re-wrote to include a quotation in Unit 6: Assignment #3 step b.2., write 8 versions of this one sentence.
    1. For Sentence Version 1, modify the sentence to illustrate the same point that Azman and Fox (2013) make with their Dr. Seuss sentence on their page 4.
    2. For Sentence Version 2, modify the sentence to illustrate the same point that Azman and Fox (2013) make with their Dr. Seuss sentence on their page 5.
    3. For Sentence 3, modify the sentence to illustrate the same point that Azman and Fox (2013) make with their Dr. Seuss sentence on their page 6.
    4. For Sentence 4, modify the sentence to illustrate the same point that Azman and Fox (2013) make with their Dr. Seuss sentence on their page 7.
    5. For Sentence 5, modify the sentence to illustrate the same point that Azman and Fox (2013) make with their Dr. Seuss sentence on their page 8.
    6. For Sentence 6, modify the sentence to illustrate the same point that Azman and Fox (2013) make with their Dr. Seuss sentence on their page 9.
    7. For Sentence 7, modify the sentence to illustrate the same point that Azman and Fox (2013) make with their Dr. Seuss sentence on their page 11.
    8. For Sentence 8, modify the sentence to illustrate the same point that Azman and Fox (2013) make with their Dr. Seuss sentence on their page 12.
  3. Go to the Unit 6: Assignment #4 Discussion Board and do the following:
    1. List the 8 versions of your sentence. Underneath each sentence, state whether the sentence is plagiarized or not and why or why not, for example,
      1. Many people do not like green eggs and ham. This sentence is plagiarized because the words “do not like green eggs and ham” appeared in Dr. Seuss’s book, but I neither quoted those words (with quotation marks) nor did I cite Dr. Seuss’s book.
    2. Provide the full APA-style citation for the article about which you wrote your sentences (e.g., Geisel, T. S. (1960). Green eggs and ham. New York: Random House.).
    3. Also write two sentences on the same topic as the article (i.e., on the same topic on which you wrote your 8 modified sentences for this assignment). But write these sentences in such a way that neither of the two sentences need citations because both sentences convey only common knowledge.

Unit 6: Assignment #5 (due before 11:59 pm Central on WED JUL 11):

  1. Now it’s time to put together everything you’ve learned in this Unit and synthesize psychological science.
  2. Choose one of the psychological science topics on which you searched Google Scholar for scientific articles in Unit 5: Assignment #1.
    1. Locate on your computer the three PDFs of the three articles on this topic that you previously found via Google Scholar and then downloaded and saved to your computer.
    2. Refresh your memory of these three articles by looking over the notes you took on each of the three articles with your chosen scientific-article-reading strategy (in Unit 5: Assignment #4).
    3. You might also need to skim-read the three articles again.
  3. For each of the three articles, write one sentence that synthesizes each article’s major finding. When writing each of these three ‘synthetic’ sentences (one for each of the three articles), remember what you learned in the “How to Synthesize Psychological Science” lecture video.
    1. Remember to synthesize the finding and not Mad Lib it.
    2. Remember to write about behavior and phenomena, not researchers and their studies.
    3. Remember to place the article’s citation at the end of the sentence (in parentheses).
    4. If the main finding from one of the three articles conflicts with the main findings from the other two articles, remember how to synthesize conflicting results (e.g., using “However, …).
    5. If you don’t remember how to do the above steps 1 through 4, go back and review the lecture video.
  4. Now put these three sentences, each of which synthesizes an article’s major finding, into a well-constructed (Hamburger Recipe) paragraph.
    1. The three sentences you wrote in step c. will serve as your three supporting sentences for your paragraph.
    2. Arrange the three sentences in a logical order (e.g., from a general study/finding to a more specific study/finding or from a more specific study/finding to a more general study/finding OR another order that makes the most sense to you).
    3. Write a topic sentence that presents the main point of your paragraph. For examples of good topic sentences, look back at the topic sentences in the fillable PDF that you filled in for Unit 6: Assignment #1.
    4. Write a conclusion sentence that holds your paragraph together.
  5. Repeat the above steps b. through d. for both of the other two psychological topics on which you searched Google Scholar for scholarly articles in Unit 5: Assignment #1. You should now have three well-constructed paragraphs, each of which synthesizes psychological science about a different topic.
  6. Go to the Unit 6: Assignment #5 Discussion Board and make a new post containing your three paragraphs. Remember if you copy/paste into the Discussion Board from Word, you’ll need to remove any extra lines in between paragraphs.

Unit 6: Assignment #6 (due before 11:59 pm Central on WED JUL 11):

  1. Plan to meet online with your Chat Group for a one-hour text-based Chat. Prior to your Chat Group meeting, all members of your Chat Group must do the following:
    1. Download and save as PDFs each of the ten articles that your Chat Group found using Google Scholar during your Unit 5: Assignment #6 Group Chat.
    2. Read each of these ten articles, applying your chosen scientific-article-reading strategy (that you learned in Unit 5: Assignment #4).
    3. Do not meet as a Chat Group until all members have completed 1. and 2. above.
  2. Begin your one-hour Chat, with members of the Chat Group taking turns presenting a summary of each of the ten articles.
  3. Then, as a group, write together two paragraphs. 
    1. The first paragraph will synthesize the first set of five articles your Chat Group previously found together (and all members of your Chat Group read in step a. above and presented in step b. above).
    2. The second paragraph your Chat Group writes together will synthesize the second set of five articles your Chat Group previously found together (and all members of your Chat Group read in step a. above and presented in step b. above).
    3. Both paragraphs need to have four supporting sentences, with one sentence synthesizing the main finding of four of the five articles on that topic.
      • Decide, as a group, which one article (of the five articles) not to include in your group-written paragraph.
      • Then, write the four supporting sentences together as a group.
    4. Both paragraphs need to have a topic sentence that presents the main point of the paragraph.
      • Decide, as a group, the best topic for each paragraph.
      • Then, write the topic sentence together as a group.
    5. Both paragraphs need to have a conclusion sentence that holds the paragraph together.
      • Decide, as a group, the best way to conclude each paragraph.
      • Then, write the conclusion sentence together as a group.
    6. Writing as a group is hard; sometimes it’s much harder than writing as an individual.
      • Everyone in the Chat Group should work hard to include all members of the Chat Group in the writing process.
      • Your effort to include everyone in the writing process should be reflected in your Chat Transcript.
      • Your effort to include everyone in the writing process will develop your teamwork skills (and interpersonal communication skills), which several of you chose as a course goal (back in Unit 1: Assignment #6).
  4. At the end of your one-hour Chat:
    1. Nominate one member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Chat) to make a post on the Unit 6: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that presents the two paragraphs you wrote as a group. Also briefly describe the process of writing these two paragraphs as a group.
    2. Nominate another member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to save the Chat transcript as a webpage and attach the Chat transcript to a Unit 6: Assignment #6 Discussion Board post.
    3. Nominate another member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to make another post on the Unit 6: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that states the name of your Chat Group, the names of the Chat Group members who participated the Chat, the date of your Chat, and the start and stop time of your Chat.
    4. If only two persons participated in the Chat, then one of those two persons needs to do two of the above three tasks.
    5. Before ending the Group Chat, your Chat Group might want to arrange the time for the Group Chat you will need to hold during the next Unit (Unit 7: Assignment #6).
  5. All members of the Chat Group must record a typical Unit entry in their own Course Journal for Unit 6.

Congratulations, you have finished Unit 6! Onward to Unit 7!