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Journal Article Critique

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By tburley
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An Empirical Analysis of Trends in Psychology
By Richard W. Robbins, Samuel D. Gosling and Kenneth H. Craik
Tanya McKinley (student)
AU ID 3049260
PSYC 290
Journal Article Critique 1

I. Research Question or Problem
The question is clearly stated. The purpose of Robbins’ et al study was to focus on trends in the prominence of four influential and widely recognized schools within psychology: psychoanalysis, behaviorism, cognitive psychology and neuroscience (Robbins, 1999, pp. 1172).
II. Introduction
The introduction gives us an overview of three indexes of prominence the authors used to compare and determine which of the four schools are currently prominent and what specific trends can be identified over the past several decades (Robbins, 1999, pp. 118).
III. Methods
Four articles were chosen as flagship publications. The psychINFO data base was used to measure the proportion of articles relevant to each school that appeared in the flagship publications. Keyword searches were used to retrieve all articles containing a specified word stems to identify articles within a behaviorist school (as cited by Robbins, 1999, pp. 118).
IV. Results
The results are clearly stated. Data was gathered and graphs were used to plot the percentage of articles associated with the keywords that represent each school (Robbins, 1999, pp. 121-126).
V. Discussion/Conclusions
The conclusion was discussed (Robbins, 1999, pp. 127-128). Suggestions for practical implications were noted. There were no recommendations for further research; however they did propose that deliberations regarding these trends be informed by empirical investigation rather than by mere speculation (as cited by Robbins, 1999, pp. 128)
VI. References
The format used in listing references was consistent, and all references given were cited in the article. The authors cited a variety of sources within the body of the text and were current.
VII. Personal Reaction
I enjoyed this study and feel it was well written and organized. I learned that psychologists should evaluate trends in the field of psychology empirically, not intuitively. The research did identify a number of trends in the history of psychology; however questions about the prominence will continue to be asked for years to come in different situations and environments. There were limitations to each index the researchers cited, including a decline in articles published in different schools, as well as difficulty in finding articles that were relevant to each school.

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