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I’d like to find and capture a few claims in the wild. Using the attached worksheet, you should identify and describe 5 different claims. These can be from whatever sources you like, but to give you an idea, you can find claims being made in newspapers, on blogs, in advertisements, etc. Make sure you have claims from different types of sources.

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Research Methods for Psychology

Identifying Claims

For this assignment, you’ll be working on identifying and evaluating claims in the media.

Find 5 different claims from at least 3 different types of sources. These may be advertisements, news articles, blog posts, etc. [ Note: Avoid second-hand claims, such as articles discussing claims that have been made elsewhere. That means no lists of “10 outrageous advertising claims,” please.] Also, keep in mind these should be truth claims, not moral claims.

For each of your sources, summarize the main claim that is being made. What is the main idea the author is trying to convince you is true (not good/bad, but true)?

Example

If you dress differently than others at work—whether up or down—they will think you are more competent.

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Provide as much information as you can about the source of the claims. When possible, try to include the original sources with this assignment—this may be a paper clipping, a weblink, a photo/video, etc.

Example

“To seem better at your job, ignore the office dress code,” by Cari Romm, Aug. 25, 2016, Science of Us at NYMag.com

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Who is making the claim (if known)? What are their positions (e.g., researcher, journalist, etc.) and relation to the claim?

Example

Cari Romm is a writer for New York Magazine, and this is a story based on someone else’s research.

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Who appears to be the target(s) for these claims? To whom are these messages (primarily) being directed?

Example

The claim seems directed at anyone who works in an office environment; white-collar workers.

Source 1

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Source 5

Summarize the arguments that are being made for each claim—what evidence is presented, and how does it support the claim? Are the authors basing their claims on logic? Emotions? Authority? Research? Something else?

Also, for each claim, make a rating of how well you think the claim is supported on a 1-7 scale, where 1 = “very unsupported,” 7 = “very supported,” and 4 = “neither supported nor unsupported.”

Source

Rating

Description

Example

This claim is supported by scientific research. The author discusses two studies that support the idea, one on people’s perceptions of competence based on pictures of professors, and one on the relationship between academics’ conference attire and their number of published papers.

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

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