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Psychology, Personality and Individual differences

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Article Critique

Instructions for assignment

Critically evaluate the following target paper:

Kwantes, P.J., Derbentseva, N., Lam, Q., Vartanian, O. & Marmurek, H.H.C. (2016) Assessg

the Big Five personality traits with latent semantic analysis. Personality and Individual

Differences, 102: 229-233. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.07.010

We tested whether the characteristics of a person’s personality can be assessed by an automated analysis of the semantic content of a person’s written text. Participants completed a questionnaire measuring the so-called Big Five personality traits. They also composed five short essays in which they were asked to describe what they would do and how they would feel in each of five scenarios designed to invoke the creation of narrative relevant to the Big Five personality traits. Participants’ essays were processed for content by Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA; T. Landauer & S. Dumais,1997), a model of lexical semantics. We found that LSA could assess individuals on three of the Big Five traits, and we discuss ways to improve such techniques in future work.

Notes on the Assignment: This assignment is not a literature review, but rather a critical evaluation, which represents a foundation for the critical literature review which you will do in Abnormal Psychology in third year, and later in the fourth year, should you decide to carry on in Psychology. Although a critical evaluation is not an essay (you need to focus on the target paper in a critical evaluation), for those of you who haven’t done this before, you can think about the assignment as an essay that is narrowed down to the article you are reviewing.


Structure of your paper: You will need an introduction, broad description of the paper selected, and a brief description of your evaluation and argument supporting your evaluation. You will need to consider why the work was done (rationale, how convincing is this rationale), what work has been cited to support the theory(methodology and methods, how appropriate are the methodology and methods chosen), nature of participants (whether they were appropriately selected), what results were obtained (if quantitative, how big/convincing were the effects; and what the implications of the study are (for theoretical understanding and for practical application, what are the limitations of the study and how may they be overcome).

Note that a critical evaluation does not mean that you write negatively of the topic, rather a critical evaluation is your scholarly response to the target paper. The critical element means that you provide evidence for your evaluation, whether it be positive or negative. Your submission will not be just a summary of the paper you choose, which has been expected of your undergraduate writing in psychology to date, but rather a summary and your critical evaluation. In providing your critical evaluation, make sure that you back up your statements, and don’t generalize. Statistical understanding: I have deliberately selected a paper which should be within your statistical understanding. Should your knowledge need revision, please consult Chapter 27 Statistical Terms from Maltby et al. (2010), available online at (go to companion website, then additional chapters).

Note Use of quotation: I have noticed that a large number of you tend to use quotation in your psychology papers. Avoid this. I have always been trained that one quotation in a paper is one too many. This is because you are able to write more concisely and confidently when you use your own words to describe another author’s work.

Note  At this stage of your academic development, you should no longer be citing undergraduate texts (from this or past units), but rather primary sources (i.e. journal articles, and reviews). Therefore, you should not be citing Maltby et al. (2013). In addition, you should not cite sources such as Wikipedia, and other generic information sites. Marks will be deducted should you do this. Use your textbook (and others) to give you an understanding of a topic area, and potentially cite the references they provide, should they be relevant to your argument. I expect you to consult original, rather than secondary sources, and most students will provide somewhere between 5 and 15 references.

Note Length of submission: Your critical evaluation for assessment 2 must be no more than six pages double-spaced, excluding references. Assessors have been instructed not to read beyond that amount .You must use 12 point, Time-New Roman font, double-spaced. If you do not meet the space and font limitations, then marks will be deducted from your overall assessment result. Please note that it isnot expected that you write an abstract. Please note that the six page limit is nonnegotiable (you may NOT go over by 10%); writing to space limitation is an important skill you will need to rely on after graduation.

Assessment 2 marking criteria:

100-80 High Distinction.

An outstanding critical evaluation. The student has demonstrated competence in terms of reviewing the paper and generating research questions or hypotheses. These questions are addressed appropriately, and a clear and impressive outline discussion of the findings has been indicated.

79 – 70 Distinction An excellent critical evaluation that has no major errors or flaws in terms of what is to be reviewed. There may be minor flaws which need correction.

69-60 Credit

A competent critical evaluation which has at least one impressive component. The evaluation is a good attempt, but there may be many minor flaws or one major flaw.

59-50 Pass

The evaluation is barely adequate, and may have major flaws. The overall impression is that the student has not read widely enough, or thought about the area.

49-0 Fail

The evaluation is incomplete or incomprehensible. Serious flaws are evident

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