Writing with critical thinking
One of the problems that students often have is how to include "critical thinking" into their exam essays. It is often clear that students know the strategies - that is, writing MAGEC about research (Methodological considerations, alternative arguments, gender considerations, ethical considerations, cultural considerations) - but they don't know how to write about them in their argument. Weaving those arguments into their essays is an essential part of writing a top-level essay.
It is essential that critical thinking not be an "add-on" or a list of psychological terminology sprinkled into their essay. All critical thinking must be "unpacked."
One strategy to help students is to repeatedly remind them to use the words "because" and "that is" to "complete the sentence." In other words, they shouldn't just write that a study is not cross-culturally valid, but they should then write "because...." and explain why this is not the case - for example because the sample was made up exclusively of white British males from an individualistic society.
In order to help students practice using "because" and "that is," here is a simple worksheet. Suggested answers are provided.
1. Loftus and Palmer’s (1974) study lacks ecological validity.
2. Lee and Lee's study on globalization and anorexia may lack construct validity.
3. Bandura’s Bashing Bobo study may be considered unethical.
4. Brown and Kulik's study may not have reliable data.
5. Many memory studies suffer from the practice effect.
6. Shively & Day's (2015) study of the role of stress on atherosclerosis in macaque monkeys may not be generalizable.
7. Studies of relationships often suffer from demand characteristics.
8. The Steele and Aronson study of stereotype threat has a sampling bias.
9. Peak-end rule is a problem in studies of why relationships fall apart.
10. Many studies on the effect of television violence on children suffer from bidirectional ambiguity.
11. Rogers and Kesner (2003) made use of a placebo.
12. An advantage of case studies is that they often use method triangulation.
13. Bartal et al's (1977) study on altruism in rats challenges the kin selection theory.
14. Antonova's (2010) study supports the findings of Rogers and Kesner (2003).
15. The problem with many health studies of stress is that they are retrospective.