Experimental Psychology

APA “Spot the Error” Homework1

INSTRUCTIONS: To assess how well you know APA writing style and the language of a research psychologist, see how many errors you can find in the following discussion and reference sections of a fictional health psychology study. There are 15 different types of errors in APA style, research language, and grammar. Some errors appear more than once; there are 35 errors in total. For each error use the highlight function in word, or use the “track changes” feature in word by clicking on the “review” tab above then turn on “track changes.”

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This study investigated the relationships among stress, personality type, anger and chronic disease. Two of the four hypotheses, discussed previously, were found to be true. Consistent with the work of Garon and Mantel (2003), the correlation between stress level and disease was very significant. However, its worth noting that the affect of personality type was statistically insignificant. The lack of relationship between personality and chronic disease is inconsistent with previous studies (Harrison et al., 2006; Davis, Wolf and Jones, 2004). The ANOVA that compares high- and low-anger participants yielded the most significant finding (= .001, = .78). The data was consistent with previous research showing that anger effected stress level (Harrison, Holstein, Calf, Grobeck, & Nelson, 2006). Higher levels of reported anger were associated with significantly less stress. These findings have important implications for health psychologists. Facilitating a person’s expression of anger can reduce stress and lower their risk for disease.

Two of the desired inclusion criterion for the participant sample were not met. The vast majority of subjects were Caucasian. Orientals, Mexican-Americans, and blacks accounted for only 9% of the sample. Also, there were too few female participants; there were twenty-five women and two hundred men. Thus, the data could not be used to examine whether gender or ethnicity impacted risk for disease.

This study extends the work of Parlick & Wilson (2007) whose research the American

Psychosomatic Society (as cited in Parlick & Wilson, 2007) recently honored as “cutting edge in the field”. They argue, “The progress made in late 20th century stress research has exceeded expectations. Our rapidly growing understanding of psychological factors, in the development and treatment of chronic disease, has set the stage for major breakthroughs in health psychology (p. 195).”


Davis, T., Wolf, M., & Jones, F. (2004). Disease and personality. Psychological Summaries, 45, 45-67. doi: 10/873420.tgl0001

Garon, D. and Mantel, J. (2003). Stress and disease. In M. Wilson (Ed.), Psychology of Disease (p. 12-38). Boston: Po Press.

Harrison, B. T., Holstein, C., Calf, F. T., Grobeck, A., & Nelson, F. V. (2006). Introversion-extroversion predicts disease states [Electronic version]. Psychological Summaries, 43(4), 257-289. Retrieved, December 8, 2007 from http:/healthcareusa.com.htm

Parlick, T., & Wilson, M. (2007). Health and Mind. Paris: Dix.

1 Based on Freimuth, M. (2008). A Self-Scoring Exercise on APA Style and Research Language. Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology.

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