Popular Press vs. Peer Reviewed Articles
Popular Press vs. Peer Reviewed Articles
It is necessary to compare and contrast the writing style and information content of two different sources regarding the same psychological issue. The first source is a popular press article, and the second one is a peer-reviewed primary research article that analyzes the same phenomenon. The area of interest that will be analyzed is depression and gender.
The popular press article under study is How gender stereotypes warp our view of depression (2012). It is the article by Amanda Gardner published in the Time Magazine. The author suggests that existing stereotypes may affect the individual perception of depression. Under the same symptoms, men are unlikely to be considered of being in need of psychological rehabilitation. At the same time, depression is more widespread among women. The significant study was provided by the UK researchers. They presented a number of symptoms for people and asked them to identify the disorder. In the first part of the experiment, it was said that Kate had such symptoms. In the second part of the experiment, it was said that Jack had the same symptoms. In the case of Kate, 57% of respondents suggested she had some mental problems, and the majority of them recognized that it was a depression. About 10% of respondents suggested she had no problems. In the case of Jack, more than 50% of respondents also understood that he had some mental problems. However, more than 20% suggested that he had no problems. Moreover, it was primarily men who did consider Jack of being depressed.
Author concludes that these differences are mainly present due to the existing stereotypes of mens and womens behavior. In particular, strength and toughness are generally considered as mens traits. Therefore, a large number of people (especially, men) are not able to identify the signs of depression in the case of Jack.
The peer-reviewed primary research article under study is Gender differences in and risk factors for depression in adolescence: A 4-year longitudinal study by Nancy L. Galambos, Bonnie J. Leadbeater and Erin T. Barker (2004). This article is devoted to the similar area, but it differs from the popular press article in a number of ways. This paper is scientifically organized. It has an introduction, the outline of key risk factors that may lead to depression, methodology, results and final discussion. The study included the analysis of a large set of information (more than 1300 people). Methodology included the analysis of Canadian population with the help of statistical methods and techniques. In particular, a screening rule was applied in order to keep sample statistically representative. In order to determine and measure depression, common questions from international diagnostic documents were used. The index numbers (from 0 to 4) were used for the quantitative representation of respondents answers. However, no strong differences between sexes in relation to depression were determined. At the same time, it was concluded that lack of social support could contribute to the emergence of depressive symptoms. Moreover, children of depressed parents had a higher probability of having problems with depression in the future (Galambos, Leadbeater & Barker, 2004). Thus, the essence of the experiment in this research article was both psychological and statistical.
Both popular press and research articles are unique in their own ways. The popular press article by Amanda Gardner is unique in the following ways:
1. It stresses the importance of stereotypes in the social life. It is helpful in understanding of some inconsistencies regarding mens and womens behavior and their evaluation by others.
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2. It demonstrates that men are unable and unwilling to identify their signs of depression. Women are more open in this respect. Thus, serious differences between genders in this respect are present.
The research article by Galambos, Leadbeater and Barker is unique in the following ways:
1. It does not establish statistically significant relationship between genders in relation to the occurrence of depression. The basic pattern of social behavior is the same for all people. However, it seems that some personality factors are also influential (Goodwin & Gotlib, 2004).
2. The article suggests that there is a strong relationship between depression and social environment and support. Thus, social support is the main factor influencing the probability and character of depression.
There are significant differences between these two articles. At the same time, there are some aspects that are common for both of them.
1. They are devoted to the same area of interest. Both of them analyze the relationship between gender differences and depression, although their conclusions are different. Gardner suggests that stereotypes play an important role in this context, and there are significant differences among men and women. Galambos, Leadbeater and Barker consider that there is no statistically significant relationship between genders in relation to depression. It seems that additional research may be needed, and it is reasonable to examine a larger variety of factors (Li, DiGiuseppe & Froh, 2006).
2. Both of these articles take into account a broader social context, i.e. they understand that people do not act in isolation; they are influenced by other individuals and different social institutions. Gardner analyzes existing stereotypes that are originated on the basis of general social beliefs. Galambos, Leadbeater and Barker analyze social environment and support as the key factors.
It seems that it is reasonable to use different articles in different situations. If it is necessary to quickly acquire some understanding of the subject, the popular press article will be sufficient. However, if it is necessary to deeply understand the problem with an adequate qualitative and quantitative analysis, it is reasonable to use original research articles such as the article of Galambos, Leadbeater and Barker.