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.
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-culturallly 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’s study lacks ecological validity.
2. Bouchard et al’s study of intelligence may lack construct validity.
3. Bandura’s Bashing Bobo study may be considered unethical.
4. The Bouchard study may have problems with contamination.
5. Many memory studies suffer from maturation.
6. Meany’s study of the role of stress on memory may not be generalizable.
7. Studies of relationships often suffer from demand characteristics.
8. The Loftus study has sampling bias.
9. The Bouchard study suffers from the equal environment fallacy.
10. Many studies on the effect of television violence on children suffer from bidirectional ambiguity.
11. Schachter & Singer made use of a placebo.
12. Case studies often use method triangulation.
13. Scarr & Weinberg (1977) contradict the findings of the Minnesota Twin Study.
14. Wahlstein (1997) supports the findings of Scarr & Weinberg (1977).
15. The problem with many health studies of stress is that they are retrospective.