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Article Critique
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Article Critique Paper: Bushman, Zerhouni, Subra, Ouraba (Article Critique Sample)


In this relatively short paper, you will read one of five articles posted on blackboard and summarize what the authors did and what they found. The first part of the paper should focus on summarizing the design the authors used for their project. That is, you will identify the independent and dependent variables, talk about how the authors carried out their study, and then summarize the results (you don't need to fully understand the statistics in the results, but try to get a sense of what the authors did in their analyses). In the second part of the paper, you will critique the article for its methodological strengths and weaknesses. Finally, in part three, you will provide your references for the Article Critique Paper in APA format.


Article Critique Paper
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Article Critique Paper
Part I: Summary
In their research article, Bègue, Bushman, Zerhouni, Subra, and Ourabah (2013) aim to uncover the effect of alcohol consumption on people’s perception of self-attractiveness. There are two key variables in this study: alcohol consumption and self-perceived attractiveness. Alcohol consumption is the independent variable, while self-perceived attractiveness is the dependent variable since it is the factor that is being affected by either consumption or non-consumption of alcohol. The five researchers indicate that previous studies on the same topic established that alcohol consumption makes one lose self-awareness by limiting self-relevant encoding processes. Based on this finding, the researchers develop a hypothesis that “alcohol consumption escalates self-attractiveness’ (Bègue et al., 2013).
However, to prove their hypothesis, Bègue et al. (2013) take two steps. The first step is the review of literature and theories relevant to the research objective. The second step is an experimental study of variables in questions. In the literature review, Bègue et al. (2013) rely on meta-analytic reviews, which show that alcohol consumption facilitates mood and sexual arousal, although the relationship between self-perceived attractiveness and alcohol consumption remains unclear. In this regard, Bègue et al. (2013) resort to the contention of ‘dual process model of alcohol behavior’ to uncover the relationship. According to this model, an individual’s mind can get intoxicated even without alcohol consumption.
They rely on different literary sources to maintain that finding a line of separation between social psychological and pharmacological effects of alcohol consumption is significant in determining the impact of consumption of alcohol on human behavior and cognition. In some review, Bègue et al. (2013) get privy to a claim that alcohol consumption does not have a significant impact on sexual arousal, but just a mere anticipation of drinking alcohol elevates one sexual arousal. The reason for this variation stems from the fact that expectation of alcohol consumption activates sexually related concepts in one’s memory (Bègue et al., 2013). The researchers employ both myopia and expectation theories to affirm this assertion. The expectation theory contends that expectations of an act evoke mental representations that generate patterned responses, (popularly known as conditioning or vicarious learning), in the brain.
The researchers also draw information from media content analysis, which indicates that alcoholic media personalities are often thought to be highly attractive compared non-alcoholic media personalities. That explains why people often relate alcohol consumption with some social judgments and behaviors that border alcohol-related expectancies, which the authors seem to append to the semantic system of memory. This model connotes that ideas that concur frequently or share a connection are always stored together in a person’s memory (Bègue et al. 2013). Consequently, knowledge activation in people’s memory, guides and shapes their feelings, impressions, intentions, and judgments without them noticing.
Through literature review, Bègue et al. (2013) also learn about physiological effects of alcohol consumption. They note that alcohol consumption narrows people’s attention, forcing them to focus primarily on salient cues rather than subtle or distal cues, and hence, losing touch with the reality. They further contend that alcoholics lack prerequisite processing skills needed for one to achieve real social behavior and seemingly, that is why they tend to perceive themselves as more attractive when drunk than when sober.
In the second step, researchers employ experimental investigations. The experiments are separated into two: Study 1 and Study 2. Study 1 was conducted in a barroom in France. The aim was to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption (based on Breathalyzer readings) and self-attractiveness. 19 participants were customers from the bar. 63% of them were males. The researchers adopted a procedure that required participants to rate themselves based on how attractive, bright, original, and funny they were feeling by then. A Breathalyzer was used to measure how drank they were at the moment. In their findings, Bègue et al. (2013) established that the more imbibed these participants got, the more attractive they felt. This finding was consistent with their hypothesis.
Study 2 was undertaken to complement study 1 for possible errors. Procedurally, researchers tested the expectancy and pharmacological bearing of alcoholism on self-perceived attractiveness. There 94 participants who were all men. The procedure was that participants were to drink just one of two types of beverages in a balanced placebo design; either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, although they were told which is which. After taking beverages, participants gave speeches rating their level of attractiveness, brightness, originality, and fun. 22 independent judges videotaped and rated their speech. Results indicated that participants who felt they had taken alcohol evaluated themselves more positively than those who thought they did not take alcohol.
In a snapshot, the study focused on establishing the relationship between alcohol consumption (independent variable) and self-perceived attractiveness (dependent variable). Researchers undertook both literature review and experimental analysis to establish this. In the end, the researchers found that as people take more alcohol, they tend to perceive themselves as more attractive than their counterparts. Researchers argue that alcohol interferes with people’s ability to reason.
Part II: Critique
In total, the researchers seem to have done a commendable job. Nevertheless, it is important to note that Bègue et al. (2013) research piece can be critiqued on several grounds, ranging from the research question, credibility, believability, reliability, presentation to ethical consideration among other issues.
First, the research seems to have a clearly defined research objective but lacks an elaborate research question. In research works, research question often serves an important purpose. According to Crişan and Borza (2015), a research question often help disintegrate the research objective in a more specific manner to avoid ambiguity. Additionally, it helps to point the reader to specific answers that a study seeks to address, and it is through it that the researcher explores a research gap given the variety of literature reviews already present in the research topic.
Closely attached to the aspect of the research question, the idea of the literature review. In the study, Bègue et al. (2013) seem to have reviewed a number of sources on the topic. However, one weakness is evident. The study lacks a balanced critical analysis of literary sources and theories. Bègue et al. (2013) only mention and explain what is available in the literature to support their arguments. Be that as it may, they bluntly fail to poke holes in those in those theories and sources, especially, their limitations and points of failure. So, the literature review section of the study is largely one-sided. On the same note, sources applied in the literature, and theoretical framework section are as old as 1965, putting the reliability of information retrieved from them at stake.
Again, given that Bègue et al. (2013) research is largely based on the field of psychology and only two factors are at stake (alcohol consumption and self-evaluated attractiveness), it would have been highly recommended that the researchers adopt a correlational research design, both in collection and analysis of data. In that case, such methods of data collection as case studies, surveys, laboratory observation, and naturalistic observation would then have applied. Using these techniques, Bègue et al. (2013) would have been in a position describe different experiences, events, and behaviors and as they investigate the links between alcohol and self-attractiveness. These methods provide conclusive and reliable data compared to those employed in the study. However, it is noteworthy to emphasize they may not point the researchers to possible sources of the behavior, but, as can be seen, that was not the aim of the study.
Further, the data obtained in the study were not...
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