When you think of a smoker, it is likely that you are imagining someone who goes through a pack of cigarettes per day and can often be found running to the nearest store to maintain their supply. Perhaps you amuse yourself watching your friend conspicuously leaving work to stand outside and huddle around their cigarette in the rain. Your assumption would often be correct as the majority of smokers are dependent on nicotine and smoke throughout the day. These daily smokers account for approximately 89% of current smokers in the UK (Herbec, Brown and West 2014), and between 67%-75% of smokers in the USA (Coggins, Murrelle and Carchman 2009). However, what about this missing proportion of smokers? Continue reading
The 2013 December issue of the journal Theory & Psychology saw a forceful exchange between Kurt Danziger and Daniel N. Robinson on the nature of psychology’s disciplinary history. For those unfamiliar with the names, both are eminent scholars in (among other things) history of psychology. The exchange boils down to Danziger accusing Robinson of creating a romanticized history of psychology, tying the discipline down to Ancient Greek philosophies. What Danziger cannot forgive in such a way of writing history of science is the idea of a concept that stays the same throughout history, and then finds its way into psychology. For example (Danziger, 2013, p. 835): “This understanding of psychology’s history has always relied on the belief that the concept of ‘human nature’ represents some historically unchanging essence guaranteeing continuity, no matter how great the gulf that appears to separate the present from the remote past.” Robinson, in turn, answers with two articles in the same issue defending his position with insinuations that Danziger and his supporters are not familiar enough with Aristotle’s body of work to mount such a criticism. His repartees, sans the scholastic posturing, can be summed up well with the sentence (Robinson, 2013a, p. 820): “It is worth noting in order to make clear that the past can be highly instructive without being causally efficacious.” Continue reading
It has become increasingly clear that academia is rife with a condition known as the ‘impostor phenomenon’. The term was coined in 1978 by psychologists Clance and Imes in describing a sample of high-achieving women who were not able to internalise their many successes. Like many others today, these women felt that they had gotten to their place in life only by a series of flukes. The so-called syndrome can be debilitating; those with it feel like frauds and, worst of all, that at any moment they could be found out and exposed (Gravois, 2007). Recently, more and more people in academia have ‘admitted’ to having the impostor syndrome.
Meta: meta- combining form. From Greek meta ‘with, across, or after.’ Pertaining to a level above or beyond.
Analysis: analysis |əˈnaləsis| noun. From Greek analuō ‘I unravel, investigate’. Detailed examination of the elements or structure of something,
Often times, researchers and students find themselves going through a dense amount of papers on a certain topic only to find results that don’t really seem to point towards a coherent or homogenous conclusion. Does this treatment work?
Journal articles are read by researchers or students for various reasons, but mainly, for reviewing for conferences, classes, research projects, or simply to keep up with the latest developments in one’s field of interest. However, effective reading skills are rarely taught or brought up for discussion as a prominent issue that needs more attention. Thus, many of us spend hundreds of useless hours trying to master this skill. Why not to save ourselves time and effort by following just few simple steps?
Staying in academia involves writing up research proposals. For some, it starts as early as during their Bachelor’s studies where they have to provide one-page experiment proposal for their supervisors. Then, after several discussions with the supervisor, they may begin their very first research experiment. Later in time, other coursework comes in – where in order to pass the subject – one must carry out an experiment that makes sense. For many students, the last time (or sometimes the first and only time) they wrote something similar to a research proposal is, when they begin their Master’s thesis. At this level, a good outline of the research is unavoidable and usually mounts up to 3-5 pages. Of course, it is possible to slip-through the system without approaching the thesis-writing preparation seriously, but usually such approach ends up in much more negative feelings than simply outlining the strategy and planning for the research.
Sitting in a classroom and being lectured, I often felt a sense that I should not question what I am being taught. This was not due to any fault of the lecturers who mostly were very welcoming of students’ opinions. However, simply knowing that this was an area that they had spent years researching and seeing them sharing at their computers screen, or head in a book every time you look through their office window gave the sense that they must have all the answers and have a justified reason for their opinions whereas mine always felt too subjective to be taken seriously. During my undergraduate degree, my essays became more and more focused on the areas which we had been taught in class and less inclusive of the breath of what were my own opinions. This was simply because having a controversial argument seemed to lead to more frustration in conceiving the lecturer’s than arguing what was the ‘popular’ approach.
You are sitting in front of the computer, staring at one of the thirty browser windows that you have opened as a result of your online search for a research topic. For the past few days, you have been going round in circles, trying to nail down a research problem to work on, but to no avail. In fact, as a last resort to this exasperating quest, you have now decided to Google for “how to find a research topic”. If this sounds familiar, it is because it is not new. If you have the experience of conducting your own study, chances are, at the early stages of your research, you have faced with the difficulty of deciding on a research question and have constantly wondered if you were asking the right question. In truth, the search for a good research question is a daunting task, especially when researchers are often expected to know how to identify or figure out a good research question on their own.
Fortunately, with every problem, there is always a place at which we can use as a starting point that will hopefully lead us to a desirable solution.
Although qualitative research methods have grown increasingly popular,confusion exists over how their quality can be assessed and the idea persists that qualitative research is of lesser value when compared to quantitative research. Quantitative and qualitative research have different historical roots and are based on very different concepts, yet the dominance of positivist ideas about what constitutes good quality, valid research in psychology has often led qualitative research to be evaluated according to criteria, that are designed to fit a very different paradigm. Inevitably, the diverse perspectives which use qualitative methods and their differing views on how people should be studied mean there is disagreement and controversy over how quality should be evaluated. Despite this, it is seen as important to develop common criteria which allow the quality of qualitative research to be evaluated on its own terms.
Taking your first steps in the world of academia can be intimidating. We have all experienced it while preparing research proposals, sitting in exams, and discussing research projects with peers and professors. What can make it easier is the thriving research community you can find online. By participating in it, you can create connections, find information, learn and enhance your skill-set in research, scientific writing, and so much more. However cliche it might sound, participating in the community is a great investment in the future.
What are, then, the best places to look for research-oriented social networking? Where do Internet personas of researchers and students congregate? Read on and find our suggestions. Continue reading