Psychology in the Media

 

Read the following short media articles and choose ONLY ONE to answer the
following assignment questions (1-5).
Just looking at your smartphone makes you less intelligent, study finds (2017, June 27). The
Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/06/27/justlooking-
smartphone-makes-less-intelligent-study-finds/
Money can buy you happiness, claim researchers (2017, July 24). The Independent.
Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/money-buy-happinesscleaner-
cook-gardener-time-stress-a7857731.html
Why you should let someone else choose your Tinder photo (2017, April 14). Time.
Retrieved from: http://time.com/4739340/facebook-tinder-profile-picture/
Answer all five questions for a total of 20 marks. This assignment is worth 10% of your
PSYC1001 course total. Your mark will be recorded as a percentage in the Moodle
gradebook.
1. Provide the full APA style reference for the original scientific research report and copy the
abstract below verbatim. If more than one article is referenced, provide just one. (2 marks)
2. Provide a (200 word) “media summary” of the scientific research. You should convey the
critical findings while also making it accessible to the layperson (i.e., presented without
jargon). Please note we will use the media and journal articles as sources when checking for
plagiarised content, so make sure your written summary is presented in your own words.
(200 words maximum; 5 marks)
3. Provide either a) one research finding reported in the research article, or b) one
discussion point raised in the research article, that was not presented in the media report.
Discuss the implications of this additional finding or discussion point, and comment on why
you think this content was not mentioned in the media report. (200 words maximum; 5
marks)
4. Conduct a literature search to find one additional article that you think might be relevant
to topic of the media report. Give the full APA reference and copy the abstract into your
answer. In no more than 200 words, state why you think this article is relevant and
comment on how the findings contribute to understanding of the issue reported in the
media report. (200 words maximum; 5 marks)
5. The ‘Altmetric’ pages for the three scientific articles are listed below. These webpages
provide a summary of all the mentions of the articles in other media reports and on social
media. For you chosen article, browse other news reports of the article by clicking the
‘News’ tab, and use this list to find another media report that’s main purpose is to report
the findings of the scientific article. Make sure that this report is substantively different to
the original media report.
First, supply a link and an APA reference to this news article. Then, in no more than 100
words, say whether you think it does a better or worse job of communicating the scientific
findings, and provide three reasons to support this view. (100 words maximum; 3 marks)1.
Just looking at your smartphone makes you less intelligent, study finds
(https://altmetric.com/details/18487515)
Money can buy you happiness, claim researchers
(https://www.altmetric.com/details/22318274)
Why you should let someone else choose your Tinder photo
(https://www.altmetric.com/details/18803732)
1 If you work on the Psych in Media assignment from outside UNSW, you may notice that the Altmetric links supplied above
do not link to a full list of the news articles related to the scientific paper (it is limited to 4 articles). To access the full list of
news coverage you will need to either: 1) Access links from UNSW, or 2) Access Altmetric database from the UNSW Library
website (search for Altmetric in the library databases, as you would for PsychInfo, Web of Science etc.).

Aims:
The aim of this assignment is to draw your attention to the differences between
scientific research reports and media focussed outputs. You will practice skills in critical
evaluation and conduct an effective literature search for relevant articles.

Background
As demonstrated by the frequency of articles reported in popular media, Psychology as a
scientific endeavour continues to capture the imagination of the general public. Online, TV
and radio news often relay stories about important psychological processes, such as
progress on tackling mental health issues, unusual animal behaviour, or bizarre perceptual
illusions.
Often these news stories are reports on scientific evidence that has been gathered from
careful experimentation. However, it is the job of the media to report the essential facts and
make the story accessible and interesting for the layperson, often stripping away some of
the scientific details in the process.
Do these stories still closely follow the facts of the research? Does the research stand up to
closer scrutiny than that given in the report? In this assignment you will start to use your
research skills to explore this question for a topic of your choosing.

For this assignment you will choose from ONE media article from the list of media articles.
You are required to read the media article, locate and read the associated published study
(from a scientific journal), and answer a series of questions below on the story.
Marking: The assignment will be marked by your tutors. You will be required to find the
scientific journal article that the media article is based on and answer questions about both
the media article and the scientific journal article
You will receive an overall penalty of 5% of the total assessment mark for exceeding the
word limit of a question by more than 10%. For example, an answer of 223 words for a
question with a word limit of 200 words will result in a deduction of 5% (1 mark out of the
total 20) from your overall grade for this assessment.

Instructions for Submission
This assignment should be completed using a word processor and (1) uploaded to the
Turnitin link entitled “Psychology in the media” which will be visible in the ‘Assessment’ tab
on the Moodle course site; AND ALSO (2) emailed to your tutor by 4pm on Sunday the 22nd
April 2018 (Week 7). See Section 9.3 of the Course Outline for more information regarding
submitting assignments, including the Declaration of Originality which you must write in the
body of the email that you send to your tutor. Tutors’ email addresses can be found in the
Course Outline.
For assessments submitted late without acceptable reason (but submitted before the final
submission deadline, see below) a penalty of 2% will be deducted for each day it is overdue,
including weekend days. A ‘day’, in this context, refers to 24 hours; thus if your assignment
is due on Friday at 4pm and you submit it on Saturday at 5pm, you will be penalized 4% for
being 2 days late. The date/time stamp on the Turnitin copy will be used to determine
whether a report is overdue. Late submissions may not receive detailed feedback. Please
note the final day for submission is 10 working days after the due date. No assessments will
be accepted for marking after 4pm on Friday the 4th of May.

PLAGIARISM
The assessment must be your own, independent work. It will, of course, be based on what
you have read, but it should not be simply a restatement of this material. Presenting other
people’s work as your own is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense!
Although it is often useful to discuss the content of an assignment with other students, you
should be very careful when preparing your report to ensure that it represents your own
unique work; this is not a group assignment. See Section 13 of the Course Outline for more
information regarding plagiarism.
Your marked assignment will be available on Moodle sometime in the week starting
Monday 30th (Week 9) April. An announcement will be made on Moodle once the marks
have been released. See section 9.4 of the Course Outline for more information on
assessment feedback. Failure to submit this assignment by this time may be regarded as a
failure to meet the requirements of the course. If you fail to submit this assignment by the
final submission deadline you may receive a grade of Unsatisfactory Fail (UF)’, regardless of
your performance in the other components. See the Course Outline for more information
about course requirements.

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