Critique the following online article: New report finds 43 percent increase in ADHD diagnosis for US schoolchildren
Relevant textbook chapters: Psychological Research and Psychological Disorders.
In your review (critical analysis) you should address the following areas/questions:
a) State the claims and key assumption(s): What key assumption(s) can be formulated based on the claims made in the online article?
b) Viability of the claims: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the claims?
c) Modifications: Are there alternative explanations of the phenomenon?
Note: Use theoretical and empirical evidence to support your arguments. The word limit for this assignment is 1000 words.
Follow the APA format as described in the "Guidance on Referencing in APA Format". Appropriate in-text citations and an accurately formatted Reference section are expected. FIVE (5) marks have been allocated for this component.
Information about the APA style and basic tutorials can be found in the APA website:
Tips on how to approach this assignment
Focus: In writing your review, you should focus on issues around the key assumption(s) of the claims made in the news article, the viability of the claims, and possible modifications to the claims. Use theoretical and empirical evidence to support your arguments. Remember to reference any sources you have cited in your review and apply the APA format.
a) Key assumption(s) of the claims: First of all, identify the claims made by the author of the online news article. Then think critically about what the key assumption or assumptions are based on these claims. For example, consider an article which claims that teenage boys are better than teenage girls in Maths. This assumption is based on research studies conducted in co-educational secondary schools in Singapore where boys were found to outperform girls in Maths.
b) Viability of the claims: Critically think about the basis for the (key) assumption being made. You can do this by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the claims made by the author of the online news article. How viable are the claims? Consider the assumption that teenage boys are smarter because they are better in Maths than their female counterparts. Are they really? Critically review this claim. The research study mentioned was conducted in co-educational secondary schools in Singapore. Note that not all secondary schools in Singapore are co-educational. Are there similar studies that were conducted in single-sex secondary schools in Singapore? Did girls from single-sex schools not perform as well in Maths as their male counterparts in single-sex schools? Consider also that not all girls in co-educational secondary schools come from co-educational primary schools. Could there be other theoretical or empirical explanations for the inferior performance of girls in Maths compared to their male counterparts in co-educational schools?
c) Modifications: If the claims made are not viable, you may want to consider alternative theories and/or research to support your alternative view. This requires you to read widely on the topic concerned so that sufficient knowledge can be gained to present a meaningful discussion. You will also need to back up your argument with supporting theoretical or empirical evidence based on your readings. For example, Attribution Theory and the principles of Locus of Control may better explain the phenomenon described earlier where teenage boys outperform teenage girls in Maths in co-educational secondary schools in Singapore.
Reading and researching beyond the course material:
You can start off searching the net using relevant key words – try Google Scholar. This may throw up related or relevant articles that may lead to reputable journals for further research.
Avoid citing material from Wikipedia – this is not a reliable source.
You can also search databases under eResources @ The Library like PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, PsycINFO, Psychological Science, etc. (Refer to "Accessing Library eResources" which is available in Blackboard under Additional Resources).
Recognizing Psychology in everyday life - The objective of Psychology is to understand people and (hopefully) provide feasible recommendations for solutions that are in line with psychological principles.
The rows of self-help books in any bookshop will give you a hint of the popular uses of psychology. Popular media (e.g., novels and music) oftentimes carry psychological themes as well. For example, Hamlet’s love for his mother could be psycho-analysed using the Oedipus theory, while some songs suggest ways of dealing with stress, for instance, "don’t worry, be happy". Policies made by the government could have psychological implications as well. For example, bilingual education may make it more difficult for clinicians to identify incidences of developmental dyslexia as a plausible competing explanation for language difficulties.
In order to achieve the objective of Psychology, we have to be able to recognize the issues and debate at stake, to critically analyse the claims, and to challenge the views with viable alternatives.
In the present assignment, we would like you to demonstrate your skills in being able to identify and critique psychological issues. This review exercise has been designed to help you develop the following skills:
- reading articles critically
- appreciating how psychology and its relevance can take many different forms
- engaging in everyday life using psychological theories