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  1.  Critical evaluation of a journal article    



    Farkas, C., Santelices, M. P Vallotton, C. D., Brophy-Herb, H. E., Iglesias, M., Sieverson, C., del Pilar Cuellar, M., & Alvarez, C. (2020). Children’s storybooks as a source of mental state references: Comparison between books from Chile, Colombia, Scotland and USA. Cognitive Development, 53. http://ezproxy.uws.edu.au/login?url=https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2019.100845


    1. What is the main argument the authors present for conducting this study? Comment on whether you think it is a balanced argument (For example, both sides of the argument), and support your response with examples.

    2. Identify the key claims made by the authors. Choose one claim and comment on whether you think it is valid (For example, has the author provided enough evidence to support that claim? Is the claim logical? Is the argument well structured?

    3. Evaluate the methodology used in present journal article (For example, is the method or task suitable for answering the research question? Is the research design sound? Are the statistical tests appropriate?).

    4. List any limitations to the study identified by the author and yourself and note why they are a limitation.

    5. Suggest ways these limitations could be addressed in future research.



Subject Psychology Pages 3 Style APA


Psychology: Critical evaluation of a journal article


The primary argument advanced by Farkas et al. (2019) in conducting the study, identify children’s storybooks form essential resources for young children to learn and recognize various mental states. Through the argument, the authors underline that storybooks form perfect leeway through which children can expound their knowledge on different emotions, desires and cognitions. Farkas et al. (2019) provide a balanced argument as they look at both sides of the equation on the contribution of storybooks in different contexts. Whereas storybooks are beneficial in understanding different mental states, the scope of representation vary depending on culture, and the authors aim to affirm this by exploration in different countries; Chile, Colombia and Scotland.

Through an evaluation of the contribution of storybook reading among children and purported impact mental state awareness, the authors of the article come up with several claims. The first claim purports that stories in children books are crucial tools for understanding cognition, motivation and causality. Secondly, the authors claim that stories are tools for social emotion socialization, and the third claim advances the idea that cultural differences influence the understanding of cognition. Evaluating the third claim confirms its validity, given that stories analyzed in different countries give varied outcomes in terms of how they influence children cognition. Farkas et al. (2019) provide enough evidence through comparison of influence in Chile, USA, Scotland and Colombia, in which case different cognitive competencies are observed. 

The present journal uses a systematic review of literature in the methods section to provide answers to the research question. The suitability of the method and design used in the study lies in its ability to deliver a precise and comprehensive overview of available evidence about the research questions. It is also suitable because it allows the identification of research gaps in the study. The use of the descriptive statistical test in the study is appropriate as it contributes to the establishment of summaries of the source evaluated.

Some of the inherent limitations in the study include an exclusive focus on texts in the books evaluated and the fact that the study only focused on storybooks recommended for children between 3 and 4 years. Future developments in similar topics should address these limitations by considering an integrative analysis of both texts and pictures in storybooks and considering storybooks of children in different age groups.



Farkas, C., Santelices, M. P., Vallotton, C. D., Brophy-Herb, H. E., Iglesias, M., Sieverson, C., … & Álvarez, C. (2020). Children’s storybooks as a source of mental state references: Comparison between books from Chile, Colombia, Scotland and USA. Cognitive Development53, 100845.


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