Why Read Articles On Psychology?

Updated November 25, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Psychology articles, particularly those that are published in professional, academic, or scientific journals, are quite fascinating, and one should read them to have a good understanding of psychology. In this post, we will discuss more the various articles you read whenever you’re studying for psychology.

What Are Psychology Articles?

These are psychological discoveries, studies, and findings that are published in prestigious academic journals. 

Why Read Them?

There Is No Shame In Going To A Psychologist If You Need Help

There are many reasons to read psychology articles, and these include:

For Your Education

Do you know the father of modern psychology which is Wilhelm Wundt? When you are studying psychology, you may need to read good psychology articles if you’re taking a class in high school. If you’re going for psychology in college, you need to read them for sure. Reading them now can give you a head start on your psychology career. Instead of spending time learning how to read them, you have already dived into the world that is psychology journals, and you can read them with ease.

Sometimes, you may study them for more than just psychology classes. You may need to critique an article for your writing class, for example.

To Stay Informed

If you are serious about a career in psychology, you need to stay in the know about the latest studies. Science is self-correcting, and sometimes what we know ends up being false, or there may be more nuance to it. Someone who is not informed may be using useless tactics to help their clients. If you want to be a psychologist, you need to accept and embrace change, which can be difficult.

Because They Are Interesting

New findings of the human mind is a subject of fascination. Our brains, our behaviors, and the outside influences that can influence them are always under study, and the information is always changing. By reading frequent psychology journals, you can stay in the loop and be able to find out more about what’s going on in the psychology world. You don’t need to read them 24/7, but having some knowledge about their contents can benefit you in a few ways.

Pop Psychology Rarely Does Them Justice

Some may turn to pop psychology news providers, which in theory, will take the findings of these journals and put them in words that the general public can understand. However, in practice, they may distort the findings to make it more exciting for the public. A finding that has gray areas or nuanced results isn’t exciting for many. Most want to have a definitive yes or no answer, but life isn’t like that.

Let’s make an example. Say there is a study about how food causes cancer. The study reveals that there may be some link, but the group used was small, there wasn’t much control for different factors, and more studies need to be made. A news publication may take this study and imply that this food causes cancer without a shadow of a doubt, downplaying the uncertainty the study said. This creates misinformation, and most don’t like to be corrected if they believe something to be true.

This is why it’s important that you read these journals and see what they say.

There are many benefits to reading psychology articles, along with any other article in the scientific field. So why don’t more people read them? One reason may be because people just don’t like reading. Many only read the headline, and when they do read an article, even if it’s an easy-to-read one, they skim through it and don’t read the article in its entirety.

Perhaps the biggest reason, however, is that these journals are written with jargon and other terms that make it difficult for the public to understand. You may need a high reading level and an understanding of different terms to read the paper’s contents. You are probably not going to understand what the paper says on the first try.

However, you don’t need to be a psychologist to read a psychology article. It just takes a little time and practice. Here are a few ways you can learn how to read psychology articles.

Look At The Structure Of The Article

Whenever you first look at a psychological article, you may feel as though the structure of the article is a jumbled mess. This is rarely the case. Most articles have a format that is created by the APA or the American Psychological Association, and when you understand the structure, it should be easier for you to figure the rest out. Here is how most psychological papers are presented.

Abstract

The paper begins with a paragraph, and this is a summary of what you can expect in the article. It’s a good way for readers to know what they’re going to read, and it helps you determine if the article is interesting or if it’s relevant to your studies.

Introduction

This is the beginning of the actual paper. It tells you about the subject, the problems the subject has and summarizes all the research that has been done on the topic. This will give you a generalized idea of what you’re about to study.

Method Selection

This is when the articles give you more information about the research used to conclude. You’ll learn about who is participating in the study, how the study was conducted, what they used, the different variables they used for control, and so on.

Results

This is what the study has concluded, and it’s perhaps the part of the article you want to pay most attention to. You can probably skim around the first two, but with the results, read carefully, so you don’t misinterpret what they are saying. Misinterpreting studies will make you look bad.

Discussion

Now that you see the results, you may wonder the implications of them. What does it mean? Is there room for error? Will there be future studies needed to solidify the results? This is another section you should carefully read so you don’t misinterpret it.

References

This is where you find the citations they used, usually when referencing past studies and information on the subject.

How To Skim The Article

Skimming an article does not mean you’re lazy. It’s a valuable strategy used to save time and get the gist of what the article is trying to say. By doing a thorough read in the beginning, you may realize the article is not what you’re looking for. Go to the important parts of the paper and give them a quick read through. If the contents are to your liking, read from the beginning. If they’re not, you may want to find another article.

Taking Notes

Perhaps the best way to process the information in the article is to take note. Highlight the important parts. If there are any words you don’t understand, take note of them and then look them up later on so you can have a fuller context. It should be easy to look up a term you’re unfamiliar with. Highlight the key points about the findings and the tools used. Take notes. These can be valuable for your studies, as you have notes that summarize the key points rather than having to consult the article again.

Finding The Most Important Information

There Is No Shame In Going To A Psychologist If You Need Help

We mentioned highlighting the most important info you can, but what is that important info? It can depend on the paper, but there are a few questions you can ask yourself if you want to be able to find the best info before then? Ask about the hypothesis of the paper, its importance, if the researches used the best methods, look at the variables, look at the findings, and then see if the findings match the conclusions.

Look At The Sources

Every paper is going to have its sources, and it may be worth it to visit the references provided. This can help you make sure the paper is quoting the references accurately, and these references can be great for more sources and information about your area of study.

If You’re Confused, Talk To Someone

If you’re still confused about certain parts of the paper, even with research, there is no shame in talking to someone about any questions you may have. Admitting you don’t understand the paper isn’t a sign that you aren’t qualified to be a psychologist. Some papers are written confusingly, and someone studying to be a psychologist has a lot to learn. Talk to your professor, a fellow student, or anyone else who may be able to understand the journal.

There are many reasons why you should read and learn how to read a psychology article. They can help you discover new facts about the mind, and they can help you keep in the loop about psychology, which is important if you want to become a therapist.

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