Empirical studies and popular psychology articles

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There have been heated debates in the past across various media platforms about the merits and drawbacks of pop psychology articles versus empirical articles. Most likely, the issue has become so widespread as a result of the enormous influence that pop psychology articles have on the general public in these modern times. As a result of technological advancements, media platforms can now effectively provide public access to psychological information through the publication of popular magazines (such as Psychology Today and Scientific American Mind) and a plethora of books. Furthermore, the airing of television shows hosted by appraised pop psychologists such as Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz have also contributed in a great way to the sharing of psychological information with a greater audience. Remarkably, as a result of pop psychology articles, the actual influence of psychology has been felt through its impact on the general populace. In this light, pop psychology articles have proven to be much more convenient in sharing psychological information than the empirical articles.

The sentiments expressed above are well illustrated by the article entitled Trauma, Trust, and Time by Katherine Hawley Ph. D that was published on the Psychology Today magazine. In this article, Katherine Hawley affirms that major traumas have long-lasting and deep impacts on individuals who have endured it by changing the perspective that they view themselves as well as others. Primarily, the author points out that individuals who have been purposefully beleaguered usually have a difficult time in trusting themselves, others, and the unknown or the future (Hawley, 2017). To investigate this point of view, Katherine Hawley highlights a fascinating article that was prepared by philosophers Benedict Smith and Matthew Ratcliffe and psychiatrist Mark Ruddell. In this enthralling article, the three make it apparent that awful events in the past can make an individual unwelcoming to others and what the future may offer hence supporting the main idea put across by Katherine Hawley. Nonetheless, Katherine goes on in this popular psychology article to offer an easy route to recovery that might be very beneficial to individuals undergoing this ordeal. The author suggests that by enabling individuals to slowly grow some sense of security in the world surrounding them, then it can be possible to regain trust and ultimately the future (Hawley, 2017). Markedly, the information provided in this pop psychology article is plausible and will definitely enable individuals make informed decisions particularly while dealing with persons whom have undergone trauma.

Similarly, the relationship between trauma and trust has been extensively explored in a number of empirical articles. In particular, the article Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy by Kathleen Kendall, PhD. publishes empirical studies on the psychological impacts of trauma. Predominantly, the article was published to act as a convenient forum for inter-disciplinary discussions on matters related to trauma, theory, blending science, practice, and policy (Kendall, 2009). To support evidence put across in this article, the author uses qualitative analyses as well as correlational and experimental methods. Furthermore, the author integrates theory and data to showcase the methodological and theoretical competence that was adhered to during the research process. However, because of the style used in preparing this article, it can be quite challenging for a lay man to derive information and make informed decisions.

That said, it is quite apparent that the merits of pop psychology articles outdo those of empirical articles. Precisely, the pop psychology articles deploy a language that is simple and plausible to all individuals, including those with little knowledge in the field of psychology. As such, most individuals usually prefer to go through popular psychology articles to draw meaningful information that can be of help in making well-versed decisions.


Hawley, K. (2017). Trauma, Trust, and Time. Psychology Today. Retrieved 3 September 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/trust/201709/trauma-trust-and-time

Kendall-Tackett, K. (2009). Psychological trauma and physical health: A psychoneuroimmunology approach to etiology of negative health effects and possible interventions. Psychological Trauma: theory, research, practice, and policy, 1(1), 35.

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