Tag Archives: tips

How to search for literature?

One of the first skills we learn at the beginning of our university career is how to search properly for psychological literature. It reflects one of the first steps we employ conducting a psychological study and follows us throughout the entire research procedure when looking for additional knowledge.

The longest journey starts with a single step. A researcher would rather state: The longest research starts with a multiple literature search. Have you wandered from one database to the other desperately looking for a place to start with? Or do you never know when to end your search?

 

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Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer, studying at University of Münster, Germany, and University of Padova, Italy. I have previously worked as JEPS Bulletin Editor and am active in a NMUN project simulating the political work of the United Nations as voluntary work. I am interested in cognitive neuroscience and intercultural psychology, anthropology and organizational psychology (aspects of work-life balance, expatriation).

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Research as an international project

As a psychology student you have to face certain barriers, when you have the possibility to do research. Those barriers mostly concern the university you are studying at. If your university does not provide you the opportunity to research in a field of your interest, the chance of working in an international research team on a joint project might be a good option to develop your research skills and discover the world of academia on an international level. If you can find such a team, then you are lucky, because 1) it is great to work together with people from different cultures who are all interested in the same topic and can share their expertise 2) it gives you possibilities to work on aspects of a topic that you could not do within the cultural and methodological framework of just one university.

But the opportunity of an international research team reveals some challenges you will have to face at several critical points throughout your work. In the following post, those challenges are summarized.

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Peter Edelsbrunner

Peter Edelsbrunner

Peter is currently doctoral student at the section for learning and instruction research of ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He graduated from Psychology at the University of Graz in Austria. Peter is interested in conceptual knowledge development and the application of flexible mixture models to developmental research. Since 2011 he has been active in the EFPSA European Summer School and related activities.

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Common mistakes made in APA style

What’s the most difficult part of the APA style for students? Continuing the practice from 2010, I’ll demonstrate the typical mistakes found in the manuscripts submitted for the 4th issue of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS). Given that JEPS requires submitted manuscripts to follow APA style, this post may be useful for anyone writing papers according to these regulations.

This post will also refer to any material that would provide more information on how to avoid the incompatibility with the APA style.

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Lessons from a published fake study

There are so many obstacles you have to face when doing your own research: After finding a suitable field, conducting your research and writing it down on paper, your supervisor might end up tearing it into pieces should they find shortcomings in your methodology or results section. In contrast to the widespread procedure, the authors of the study presented below have failed not only to discuss methodological issues, but they have made up a complete study that got published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. Has the entire review process failed for this study? What does this case teach you?

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Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer, studying at University of Münster, Germany, and University of Padova, Italy. I have previously worked as JEPS Bulletin Editor and am active in a NMUN project simulating the political work of the United Nations as voluntary work. I am interested in cognitive neuroscience and intercultural psychology, anthropology and organizational psychology (aspects of work-life balance, expatriation).

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How to spice up your presentations

There is nothing as dull in a student’s life as badly made PowerPoint presentations. Using PowerPoint has become a rule, whenever you present something in an university setting or otherwise. Everybody does it. And even when you follow all the hints on ‘how to make a good presentations’, like the ones Maris talked about in our last post at the JEPS Bulletin, you end up with just a PowerPoint presentation. How to change that and spice things up?

Ivan Flis

Ivan Flis is a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science at the Descartes Centre, Utrecht University; and has a degree in psychology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. His research focuses on quantitative methodology in psychology, its history and application, and its relation to theory construction in psychological research. He had been an editor of JEPS for three years in the previous mandates.

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What makes a presentation good?

Presenting your research results might be the highlight in your undergraduate degree. This is your chance to tell the audience why your findings are relevant. What would make a good presentation? Naturally, the one that convinces them – your work has its place in the pool of knowledge. What’s the formula to make people listen (and follow your story)?

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Tomatoes against procrastination

When it comes to writing your paper, procrastination is your friend, right? … I mean your foe… Sometimes it’s so horribly hard to get concentrated on what you should really be doing. Instead you find yourself checking Facebook yet another time (I bet this is how you ended up reading this!). Your work doesn’t seem any more appealing even this after you have washed your dishes, replied e-mails from month ago, made an umpteenth cup of coffee, cleaned your room, swiped your windows shiny-clean and perhaps even your doors and walls? How about starting working on that assignment now? Well, actually, before you do, check out the Pomodoro Technique®.

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How to critically evaluate internet-based sources?

Imagine the following: you are doing a literature search on a topic, but have really hard time discovering enough background information in traditional sources such as books and journal articles. Then, you miraculously find a web page that contains all the information you need. Just go ahead and cite it? Think again! How do you know if it’s accurate and trustworthy?

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Martin Vasilev

Martin Vasilev

Martin Vasilev is a final year undergraduate student of Psychology at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and the author of some of the most popular posts on JEPS Bulletin (see for example, his post on the most common mistakes in APA style was the most read in the JEPS Bulletin in 2013 and his post on writing literature reviews, which was reprinted in the MBA Edge, a magazine for prospective postgraduate students in Malaysia)

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Lost in translating?

Science exists mainly in English and for many this fact entails a bunch of translation between their mother tongue and the lingua franca. It often happens that as a student you write your papers in your native language whereas the articles you read are in English. Or, say you want to submit your thesis you wrote for your university to Journal of European Psychology Students and now need to translate the whole thing to English. How to ensure the best translation to or from English?

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How to critically evaluate the quality of a research article?

When considering a research idea, we are bound to rely on previous findings on the topic. Work done in the field constructs the foundation for our research and determines its course and value. Inaccurate findings may lead to imprecise applications and end in further fallacies in your own new scientific knowledge that you construct.  In order to set a solid basis for research on any topic and to prevent multiplication of misinformation, it is crucial to to critically evaluate existing scientific evidence. It is important to know which information can be regarded as plausible.

So what’s the criteria to determine whether a result can be trusted? As it is taught in the first classes in psychology, errors may emerge from any phase of the research process. Therefore, it all boils down to how the research has been conducted and the results presented.

Meltzoff (2007) emphasizes the key issues that can produce flawed results and interpretations and should therefore be carefully considered when reading articles. Here is a reminder on what to bear in mind when reading a research article:

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