College Essay Examples

Journal Article Critique

“Does psychology make a significant difference in our lives?” by Zimbardo Philip G.

Zimbardo examines the important role that psychology plays in people’s lives. It highlights various instances in which psychology has been applied in different settings as well as its fundamental contributions in people’s lives. According to Zimbardo (2004), there was an intellectual tension in different virtues of the psychology of both basic and applied research. However, recent studies have demonstrated that both basic and applied research play an important role in the improvement of the quality of life. Due to the numerous benefits of psychology, psychologists provide necessary knowledge that can help people and this was never the case earlier as they never shared their knowledge with the people. While arguing that psychology makes a significant difference in the lives of different people, the article attempts to answer if psychology makes a significant difference in the lives of people, communities, and nations (Zimbardo, 2004).  Additionally, it attempts to answer if psychology has been applied in real-world situations to address various issues.

Zimbardo relies on numerous studies that have been completed over the years to inform his article. He references them throughout the article as he attempts to explain the benefits of psychology to humans. In specific, he relies on studies that have been conducted to explain the role that psychology plays in improving human lives. It should be understood that Zimbardo did not conduct any experiment as his study solely relies on past experiments that have been done regarding the benefits of psychology. Additionally, the study does not have any independent variable that needs to be manipulated. Therefore, the study begins by illustrating different ways in which basic and applied research has been used in the improvement of the quality of human life (Zimbardo, 2004). The article presents various justifications for availing psychology to the public and they include enhancing the pride of psychologists for their accomplishments, understanding the public and the role of psychology in their lives, utilizing media sources to deliver certain information to the public, and enhancing social accountability as the public finance the work of psychologists. According to the study, psychologists are expected to prove that their study is associated with high societal value.

The article has been well written as the author follows a chronological order and any reader will not have any problem with understanding its intention. No reader will have a problem with identifying the article’s purpose as this is highlighted in the introduction section. The author relies on credible sources to inform the study as most of the studies that have been referenced were done by respected researchers that attained higher education. Therefore, the sources that have been used are highly reliable as they represent studies that were conducted in the past.

Therefore, a reader has an opportunity to learn about the role that psychologists have played over time from the studies that have been used as references. I believe that this article is easy to understand as the author uses simple language. The use of credible sources to inform the study’s justifications makes it highly reliable.

In conclusion, the study is in the form of a discussion as the author relies entirely on past studies that were conducted by other researchers on the topic. From the examination of various sources, the study concludes that psychology has had positive contributions to the life of humans and this has brought a significant difference in their lives. The study gives credit to psychological works that have been done over the years because they have played an important role in changing the lives of humans. Also, the article has been organized well and it is easy for any reader to understand its objective as it has an introduction section where this is highlighted.


Zimbardo, P. G. (2004). Does psychology make a significant difference in our lives? American Psychologist, 59(5), 339-351. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.59.5.339

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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