• Use the Capella library and course readings to locate a minimum of five peer-reviewed journal articles on a topic of your choice, then analyze the research component of the articles.

Biopsychology is the study of how the human brain and body work; specifically, how do the cells in our brain lead to our thoughts and actions? As you work on your assessment, an analysis of five articles, and think about a topic you want to choose for all your assessments, you’ll be introduced to the origins of biopsychology and genetic influence on behavior, while exploring why biopsychology creates ethical concerns. You’ll also explore the basic biology of the brain and the associated neurological systems.

Overview

To successfully complete a research project in the field, you’ll need to understand the research of the field, and to analyze and synthesize it. In this assessment you’ll take the first step by analyzing the research component of articles for a topic of your choice.

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Preparation

You will also be using these resources as part of your Literature Review assessment and to help support a proposed research study of your choosing for your Study Applications assessment. Note that the assessments in this course build on one another. It is a good idea to look ahead to the other assessments, and begin to think about a topic you might be interested in researching. This is a good time to select articles for this assessment that will help support your ideas for the other assessments. Keep the same topic for your Theories and Ethics assessment, but choose different articles—this will ensure you start work on your Literature Review assessment with enough articles.

Instructions

For your Analysis of Articles assessment, use the Capella library and course readings to locate a minimum of five peer-reviewed journal articles (published within the last 10 years) that discuss a biological psychology topic of interest to you. Biological psychology is the study of biology integrated into the concepts of psychology. 

For example, you might be interested in: 

  • Neurobiology of ecstasy (MDMA) abuse.
  • Progression of reading ability in a child diagnosed with autism.
  • Effectiveness of a new drug to treat depression. 

You are not limited to these topics but may choose one of these if you are interested. These are listed to help give you an idea of types of appropriate topics. 

Use the following organization:

Introduction: 

  • Describe the topic of the paper.
  • Describe the search strategy you used to include: key words, library databases, and why you chose these.

For each article, provide the following:

  • The research method(s) used in the articles reviewed.
  • Key variables in the hypothesis or phenomena of interest.
  • Description of how the hypothesis was supported (or not) and how questions were answered (or not).
  • Determination and explanation of whether the study was (or was not) conducted safely and ethically by the authors. 

Paper Requirements  

Number of Resources: 5–7 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Length: 3–5 pages.
Format: Formatted using the APA Paper Template [DOCX]. Use current APA style and formatting. 

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Analyze research methods used in the study of biological psychology. 
  • Describe which of four research methods were used to analyze a chosen topic.
  • Identify key variables of existing research.
  • Describe how hypotheses were supported or not supported.
  • Competency 3: Apply scholarly research findings to topics in biological psychology. 
  • Use appropriate information-gathering techniques to identify peer-reviewed journal articles.
  • Competency 4: Apply theory and scholarly research findings to inform professional and personal ethics, values and behavior. 
  • Analyze studies to determine whether or not they were conducted safely and ethically by the authors.
  • Competency 5: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for professionals in the field of psychology. 
  • Address assessment purpose in a well-organized text, incorporating appropriate evidence and tone in grammatically sound sentences.
  • Uses APA format and style with headings consistently and with few errors.

Analysis of Articles Scoring Guide

CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED 
Use appropriate information-gathering techniques to identify peer-reviewed journal articles.Does not use appropriate information-gathering techniques to identify peer-reviewed journal articles.Uses some, but not all appropriate information-gathering techniques to identify peer-reviewed journal articles. Uses appropriate information-gathering techniques to identify peer-reviewed journal articles.Uses appropriate information-gathering techniques to identify peer-reviewed journal articles and describes the rationale for the search strategy. 
Describe which of four research methods were used to analyze a chosen topic.Does not identify which of four research methods were used to analyze a chosen topic. Identifies, but does not fully describe which of four research methods were used to analyze a chosen topic. Describes which of four research methods were used to analyze a chosen topic.Describes which of four research methods were used to analyze a chosen topic and describes relevancy of the chosen research method. 
Identify key variables of existing research.Does not identify key variables of existing research. Identifies some, but not all key variables of existing research. Identifies key variables of existing research.Identifies key variables of existing research and provides rationale for the selection of the variables. 
Describe how hypotheses were supported or not supported.Does not describe how a hypothesis was supported or not supported. Describes how a hypothesis was supported or not supported, but the description lacks detail or clarity. Describes how hypotheses were supported or not supported. Describes how hypotheses were supported or not supported and analyzes the thoroughness of the author’s conclusions. 
Analyze studies to determine whether or not they were conducted safely and ethically by the authors.Does not describe study to determine whether it was (or was not) conducted safely and ethically by the authors. Describes, but does not analyze study to determine whether it was (or was not) conducted safely and ethically by the authors. Analyzes studies to determine whether or not they were conducted safely and ethically by the authors.Analyzes studies to determine whether or not they were conducted safely and ethically by the authors and presents standards to support the position. 
Address assessment purpose in a well-organized text, incorporating appropriate evidence and tone in grammatically sound sentences.Does not respond to the assessment prompt and/or does not organize text appropriately, uses inappropriate tone, or does not include structurally sound sentences. Addresses the assessment purpose with minimal issues related to evidence, tone, and sentence structure. Addresses assessment purpose in a well-organized text, incorporating appropriate evidence and tone in grammatically sound sentences.Presents a focused purpose through strong organizational skills. Presents evidence through strong paraphrasing/summarizing and appropriate tone and sentence structure. 
Use APA format and style with headings consistently and with few errors.Does not use APA format and style with headings. Uses APA format and style with headings, but inconsistently and with errors. Uses APA format and style with headings consistently and with few errors. Uses correct APA format and style with headings consistently and with no errors.