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Article Analysis

Article Analysis

Sample Answer 

Article Analysis

Life course scholars have spent years studying and discussing the later periods of individuals’ lives than they have in the middle years. Middle age has never been defined in clear terms; neither has it been fully understood. It is widely accepted as the age between old age and youth, which is quite a vague description. Midlife is a term that was constructed around 150 years ago. Even with the exalted perception of midlife from the past times, today’s society associates midlife with stress and is viewed as a time when a person goes through a crisis. These perceptions may have resulted from the many popular writings of the 60s and 70s. The question therefore remains, is midlife a time of crisis as proposed by popular psychology, or does evidential research prove otherwise?

The article by Wethington (2000) looks at the disjunction between research and popular views regarding the crisis that takes place in midlife. The study interviewed more than 720 persons using telephone surveys. The participants were questioned in an attempt to determine what Americans believe about the ‘midlife crisis.’ The article also explored self-reporting on the midlife crisis. More than 90% of Americans defined what they believed was the midlife crisis. Their definitions coincide roughly with the psychoanalytic and psychological midlife crisis theories. 26% of the participants said they had had a midlife crisis. Although this ‘crisis’ is often linked to men, women were also more likely to report a midlife crisis. However, most people attributed the crisis they went through to life events that had a severe threat and challenge as opposed to aging. These events occurred during a very broad definition of the time in which the crisis occurred. In other words, participants did not believe midlife crisis had to do with their chronological aging, but it was based on the major life threat they faced during an unspecific time.

In the article by Lachman, Teshale, and Agrigoroaei (2015), the authors provided plasticity, variability, and multi-directional evidence in the direction and nature of the changing physical health, well-being, and cognitive functioning in the life course during middle years. The authors asserted that middle age is a pivotal period in terms of balancing decline and growth, making a link between earlier and later life periods, as well as linking the older and younger generations. The article points both that functioning at any age is flexible and variable, and there is room for modifications. The article, in summary, highlights the fact that middle age is not a place for ‘crisis’ but instead is a place for cementing relationships between generations and re-defining oneself.

In conclusion, the two articles agree that there is indeed such a thing as a midlife crisis that essentially exists in the minds of Americans. The fact that the participants in the study could not link the crises they faced to a specific period, and one that concurred with everyone else, indicates that midlife is not a specific time. Additionally, as defined by the participants, crises were not related to chronological age but to major events in one’s life. As such, the second article showed that a person could alter their perception of their worth in life. A person can shape their life to be an opportunity for growth or decline and then choose to call it a crisis or a period of positive transformation.


Lachman, M. E., Teshale, S., & Agrigoroaei, S. (2015). Midlife as a pivotal period in the life course: Balancing growth and decline at the crossroads of youth and old age. International journal of behavioral development39(1), 20-31.

Wethington, E. (2000). Expecting stress: Americans and the “midlife crisis”. Motivation and Emotion24(2), 85-103.


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Article Analysis

  • You are to locate one source of pop psychology and one source of empirical research and compare and contrast the merit of the information in each as follows:Make sure you check your email and read it thoroughly as it has more information about this assignment as well as a sample paper.Begin by searching in the appropriate place for 2 sources (only include 2 sources in your paper) that are fittingly related to each other on any topic in Psychology. Empirical research can only be found in professional journals. The easiest way to find a professional journal article is by accessing PsycINFO through the portal at then locating the online Library. Pop psychology sources are newspapers, news magazines, tabloids, and other self-help articles found either online or on store shelves. Examples include articles by Dr. Phil, Dear Abby, Dr. Laura, Tony Robbins, etc. Articles in Psychology Today and are pop psychology and, although they may report on or refer to empirical research, they are not professional journal articles.
    Article Analysis

    Article Analysis

    To prepare your essay, you should think critically about the merit of the information in each article by asking the following questions about each: a.) What is the main issue, problem, or intention of the article? b.) In what way(s) does the article investigate various points of view and assumptions? c.) What evidence is provided to support the issue? d.) In what way(s) does the article discuss consequences and implications of the reasoning provided? e.) In what way(s) does the information provided help you make an informed decision about the purpose?

    Now, focus on the answers to the above questions and compare and contrast the 2 sets of information.

    Determine what your thesis is and state it clearly and concisely. It should briefly introduce your topic but more importantly should indicate that your purpose is to compare and contrast the merit of the pop psychology article with the merit of the empirical article. This will be the first sentence of your essay.

    In the body of your essay, you may do a whole-to-whole comparison of the 2 sets of information or you may do a (less common) point-to-point comparison. For a whole-to-whole comparison, address the information about one of the articles by discussing its merit using the critical thinking concepts above, then, do the same for the second article. For point-by-point, you should address the first important point about one article then that same point about the other, discuss a second point about one then the other, and so on. You will want to be very thorough in the body as this is a very large percentage of your grade on the essay. Remember that the point of this assignment is not whether you agree or disagree with the content, but how the writers conveyed the information. Did they provide facts that made the articles truthful or trustworthy? So avoid such statements like “I agree that children should not watch violent videos.” Rather “Johnson’s article provided sufficient data that makes his article trustworthy.”

    Article Analysis

    Article Analysis

    Your conclusion should summarize how the merit of the pop psychology article compares and contrasts with the merit of the empirical article, thus reaffirming your thesis without restating it. This is where you conclude with inferences, clearly address implications or consequences of accepting the given information, and culminate any assertions.

    Additional tips:

    Be certain to carefully review the information for specific directions and refer to the Grading Rubric for information on how your writing assignment will be graded.

  • You are to write 500 words / 2 pages. A 50 word leeway will be accepted; otherwise points may be deducted.
  • Use basic APA style guidelines such as 1” margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and when citing your sources and listing your References.
  • You do not need a cover pager or running head.
  • No PDF files. Saint Leo offers a free student version of Office so there should be no excuse for not having a Word document.
  • I will email a sample paper with more point by point directions.

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