The QALMRI Method
Explanation of writing a QALMRI
The information you are trying to convey in writing your final project is the same as the information you are trying to extract from journal articles that you read. The QALMRI method highlights this important information as:
What are the broad and specific questions?, what were the alternative hypotheses, what was the logic of the design, what was the method, what were the results, what inferences about the specific and broad question can be made from the results, whatʼs the next experiment?
Writing a QALMRI for any research paper (one that you are writing, or one that you are reading) is simply writing short answers to each of these questions using clear and concise language. It is a condensed, short-form, version of the research. To be even more specific, your task is to answer these questions for your final project, and for one paper you reference in your final project: Question: What was the broad question? What was the specific question? Alternative hypotheses: What were the hypotheses?
Logic: If hypothesis #1 was true, what was the predicted outcome? What was the predicted outcome if hypothesis #2 was true?
Method: What was the experimental design?
Results: What was the pattern of data?
Inferences: What can be concluded about the hypotheses based on the data? What can be concluded about the specific and broad question? What are the next steps?
How long is a QALRMI? Long-enough to answer each question with clear and brief sentences.
Contents of this document
1. Long-form notes of each section of QALMRI
2. Example QALMRI write-up for one research paper
QALMRI – Long Form Notes
Adapted nearly verbatim from: Kosslyn, S.M. & Rosenberg, R.S. (2001). Psychology: The Brain, The Person, The World. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. The QALMRI method provides a means for critically evaluating experiments, as well as for organizing your own experiment proposals. It helps you to find connections between theory and data by making explicit the question being asked, the approach used to answer it, and the implications of the answer. Q stands for Question
All research begins with a question, and the point of the research is to answer it. For example, we can ask whether a placebo is better than no action in alleviating depression. For most journal articles, the General Introduction should tell the reader what question the article is addressing, and why it is important enough that anyone should care about the answer. Questions fall into two categories: broad and specific. In your QALMRI, state both the broad and the specific questions being asked. Broad questions are typically too general to answer in a single experiment, although one should view the experiment as one step on a journey to answer the broad question. An example of a broad question might be "Does language influence perception?" This sort of question provides the general topic of the paper, and can only be answered through compiling many experimental results. In contrast, the specific question can typically be addressed in a single experiment or set of experiments. A specific question might be "If one language has a specific term for one color, and another language does not have any term for that color, will speakers of the two languages perceive the color differently?"
Again, be sure to identify the broad and specific question relevant to your data collection.
A stands for Alternatives
Good experiments consider at least 2 possible alternative answers to a specific question, and explains why both answers are plausible. For example, the possibility that speakers of different languages will perceive colors differently is plausible based on evidence that top-down processes can affect perception. The alternative hypothesis, that language does not influence perception of color, is also plausible because color perception in particular might be impervious to topdown influences. That is, it might be based solely...
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