Free Misconceptions in Psychology Essay Sample

The title of the article that I am going to review is "The effect of perspective on misconceptions in psychology: A test of conceptual change theory" (Amsel et al., 2009).

Research question

The problem that is being sought here is to find out if students who are leaning psychology change their perception of the discipline as they go ahead studying the subject. It has been assumed that students change their perception of the discipline as they learn about the discipline. The article sought to provide evidence to the conceptual change as the process in which students get to learn and understands psychology.

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Research methodology

The intended audience of the research is the psychology students and researchers. This will be used by the psychology practitioners who will integrate the learning to their research. The research is also for psychologists who are supposed to understand the changes that take place to people while they are learning new concepts. This will be instrumental in the learning process.

The article is a research paper. The research is to find out if there is some change in students learning psychology.

Summary of the article

To make an account of how some students learn sciences, there is a conceptual framework which was developed in the year 1982. The framework is the Conceptual Change theory (Posner, Strike, Hewson, & Gertziog, 1982). The theory is based on the fact that learning science is rational and a process which is intelligible. It states that the ability of a student to learn a science discipline will be limited by their misconceptions that regard discipline; in other words, these are the beliefs that do not concur with the concepts of the discipline. It has been proposed that in order for students to learn successfully, they have to revise the misconception so that it marches with the discipline so that meaningful intake of the learning process will be attained.

The account that is articulated by the research has been used in other science disciplines. The purpose of the study is to look at the application of the framework to learning psychology. Psychology has been taken as not so much a science subject who has made it not applicable. Stanovich (2007) states that students enter the class on Introductory Psychology thinking that the Freudian theory is all that psychology is all about. They also think that the pop culture is the representation of all psychologists. There are previous researches that claim some psychological aspects and students have most of the times believed these claims despite the fact that they have been proven to be false by various researchers. The article also states that students have a strong belief that Good hypnotists have the ability to force you to do things that they want you to do. They also believe to the belief that genius is akin to insanity although these have been proven to be wrong in many psychological researches. There are claims that students decrease their levels of misconceptions as they go ahead with their studies of psychology.

The researches show a weak misconception on the process of learning and students learn psychology. The research made use of the questionnaire which was used to collect facts and figures about the case of study. The studies give weak evidence to the viability of the conceptual change as the process which students learn psychology. Researchers find varying degrees of misconceptions. Others find high rates while others find low rates. This disparity shows that there is no universality in the measurements that are taken in the discipline. The research paper also attributes the decrease in misconceptions that are found in students taking psychology can be attributed to the fact that the instructors specifically address these issues. The students are brought to the light concerning these issues. It has been also found out that many students have their grades in class directly proportional to their misconceptions.

Also in the paper, there are criticisms that have been raised concerning the fact that the research on "misconceptions research" with tend to address only superficial and psychological beliefs; it does not talk about the misunderstandings of epistemology.

Data analysis

For good and near-accurate results, students were tested in their 6th week in class. Two students were given the task of distributing the research questionnaires and consent forms in each of the introductory classes of psychology. The students were then randomized as a block in the Psychology Professor condition.

The PAS scores were computed. The scale was on a 1-7 and the average came to 5.20 with the standard deviation of 0.60; this was above 4 (which are considered to be significant. Also t(222) = 29.73, p>0.001. This shows that the there is a moderate agreement regarding psychology as a science.

The average of the student PAS was entered into a 2 (which are Self versus Psychology Professor) by 6 (Instructor) ANCOVA which were independent of variables which were related to demography and course. There was also an effect on Perception and the interviewees scored higher on Professor Condition (M=5.37) as compared to the Self condition where they had M=5.01, F(1,179)=15.41,p>0.001, β2=0.79.  The study also found some Instructor effect which had an approach to significance of F(5,179)=2.4, p=0.057, β2 = 0.058. There was also no interaction between Professor and Perspective, F(5,179)=0.87, ns.

Findings and results

As can be seen in the results, students in the psychology class in the Professor Condition had a higher rating which means that psychology is rated to be more scientific; this was on the Psychology as a Science Questionnaire. The students in the Self Condition scored lower than this. Students in the Professor Condition had a higher mean score which stood at 0.36 as compared to the students in the Self Condition which validates our hypothesis.

Citations style

The style that was used in the paper is that of APA.


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