Journal article

Writing narrative literature reviews

RF Baumeister, MR Leary

Review of General Psychology | Published : 1997


Narrative literature reviews serve a vital scientific function, but few resources help people learn to write them. As compared with empirical reports, literature reviews can tackle broader and more abstract questions, can engage in more post hoc theorizing without the danger of capitalizing on chance, can make a stronger case for a null-hypothesis conclusion, and can appreciate and use methodological diversity better. Also, literature reviews can draw any of 4 conclusions: The hypothesis is correct, it has not been conclusively established but is the currently best guess, it is false, or the evidence permits no conclusion. Common mistakes of authors of literature review manuscripts are descr..

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