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Can you please read my psychology ERA introduction and suggest areas in which it can be improved?


The relationship between birth-order and personality has been a topic of interest amongst psychologists.  Grivas & Carter (2010) suggested that First Born Children were conscientious, responsible and developed a higher degree of leadership skills due to caring for their younger siblings.  Later Born children were quoted being “sociable and good at maintaining relationships in later life” (p. 544).  Only children were also said to “seem more self- confident… [as] a result of their having no competition (p.544)”. Grivas and Carter also suggested this was due to the fact that each child is raised in a different family environment and stated that research studies have found the influence to be minimal.  Studying the effects of birth order will provide insight onto how specific environmental factors affect the development on personality.  The research study aims to investigate the existence and type of relationship between ordinal position of first and later born children, only children and personality. It was hypothesized that the participants, first, later or only born children sampled through convenience would produce considerably varied results on a personality rating survey, thus indicating minimal correlation between the two variables.


Expert Answers

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The first sentence doesn't really say anything and should be deleted. Instead, you need to open with a sense of what the paper is actually doing. Is it a precis of an article? A critical analysis? Is this an argumentative paper? What is the actual point you are trying to make here?

In analyzing this study, one important issue would be sample size and method of selecting samples. Then, you might look at methodology -- how did they actually assess the traits they attribute to birth order? What was the statistical significance of their results (what sort of significance tests did they do? how far did their results vary from a random distribution?) Was there any possibility of observer bias?

Finally, has this study been replicated by other psychologists and were the results identical?

For language, chose one verb tense to use throughout the paper rather than changing tense (why are you using future tense to discuss a study completed last year?) and watch out for overuse of passive voice.

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