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PSY383 - Seibert

Children’s Understanding of Their Social World

Psychology Databases

What is an Empirical Article?

Scholarly research articles in the field of Psychology typically present the author(s)' attempt to test a thesis or explore a topic. Psychologists usually are interested in how peoples' mental functions affect their behavior so they gather data regarding peoples' biological and physiological processes. One hallmark of an empirical article is that the authors discuss data which they have collected themselves.

Empirical articles typically include these sections (not all articles include all sections):

  • Abstract
  • Introduction/Literature Review (may not be labeled)
  • Method
    • Participants
    • Measures
    • Procedures
  • Results
  • Discussion

Using the articles below, we will learn how to differentiate between an empirical article, a popular article, a trade publication, and a literature review.