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Primary & Secondary Sources


Lori Townsend

on 25 October 2016

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Transcript of Primary & Secondary Sources

Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied.

Source: wikipedia

Primary sources are the recordings or evidence of activity in every sphere of life (art, government, communication, music, scientific experiments).

A primary source is the closest you can get to experiencing something with actually experiencing it yourself
Author's perspective
Where does this information come from? (personal experience, eyewitness accounts, reports written by others, etc) Was the author present at the event/action/time period or soon thereafter?

Single or multiple sources
Based on the information available, can you tell if the author's conclusions are based on a single piece of evidence, or perhaps many different types of sources or pieces of evidence have been taken into account (e.g., diary entries, along with third-party eyewitness accounts, impressions of contemporaries, newspaper accounts)?

Empirical Research
Is the source in question documenting some sort of original, empirical research? Does it have methodology, results & conclusions sections?

Disciplinary context
What academic disciplines (History, Psychology, Political Science, etc.) are most likely to create or use this source? How will you, the researcher, use this source in your work?
Primary & Secondary:
Let's Get Started
The GSS contains a standard 'core' of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions, plus topics of special interest. Many of the core questions have remained unchanged since 1972 to facilitate time-trend studies as well as replication of earlier findings. The GSS takes the pulse of America, and is a unique and valuable resource. It has tracked the opinions of Americans over the last four decades.
Family studies have found a large overlap between anxiety disorders in family members. In addition to genetic heritability, a range of family factors may also be involved in the intergenerational transmission of anxiety. Evidence for a relationship between family factors and childhood as well as parental anxiety is reviewed. Four groups of family variables are considered: (I) attachment; (II), aspects of family functioning, such as marital conflict, co-parenting, functioning of the family as a whole, and sibling relationships; (III) parental rearing strategies; and (IV) beliefs that parents hold about their child. The reviewed literature provides evidence for an association between each of these family factors and child anxiety. However, there is little evidence as yet that identified family factors are specific to child anxiety, rather than to child psychopathology in general. Moreover, evidence for a relationship between child anxiety and family factors is predominantly cross-sectional. Therefore, whether the identified family factors cause childhood anxiety still needs to be investigated. Further research that investigates mechanisms mediating the relationship between family factors and child anxiety is also called for. Finally, parental beliefs are identified as important predictors of parental behaviour that have largely not been investigated in relation to child anxiety disorders.
This review presents a national health profile of adolescents and young adults (ages 10–24). The data presented include trends on demographics, mortality, health-related behaviors, and healthcare access and utilization, as well as the most significant gender and racial/ethnic disparities. Although the data show some improvement, many concerns remain. Encouraging trends—such as decreases in rates of homicide, suicide, and some measures of reproductive health—appear to be leveling off or, in some cases, reversing (e.g., birth and gonorrhea rates). Large disparities, particularly by race/ethnicity and gender, persist in many areas. Access to quality healthcare services remains a challenge, especially during young adulthood. Policy and research recommendations to improve health during these critical periods in the lifespan are outlined.
Prof. W. H. Lawrence of the state experiment station has issued Bulletin No. 97, on "Anthracnose of the Blackbery and Raspberry," which shows careful and conscientious study of this disease. We are giving the cause and cures as described by Prof. Lawrence but the bulletin is too large for publication in full. Berry growers should be on the lookout and if a trace of this disease is discovered should send at once for the complete bulletin which is furnished free.
Source C
Source B
Source A
Source A
Thank you for your
time and attention!

Primary & Secondary Sources:
Social Sciences
Presented by
Lori Townsend
So What?
(or discovery,or experiment or act of creation)

understand the nature and importance of primary and secondary sources in relation to one another

identify primary and secondary sources in the social sciences

source material


person, information, period or idea
recordings or evidence
every sphere of life
Eyewitness accounts
Diary entry

comment on

build upon

distinction not sharp
Secondary Source Examples
Primary Source Examples
Newspaper articles
Non-fiction books
Disciplinary context

traditionally: historical

Disciplinary context

scientific method: how researchers seek answers
Research based
primary sources

Scholarly journal article: original research

scholarly book

Research based
secondary source

literature review
Chronic media multitasking is quickly becoming ubiquitous, although processing multiple incoming streams of information is considered a challenge for human cognition. A series of experiments addressed whether there are systematic differences in information processing styles between chronically heavy and light media multitaskers. A trait media multitasking index was developed to identify groups of heavy and light media multitaskers. These two groups were then compared along established cognitive control dimensions. Results showed that heavy media multitaskers are more susceptible to interference from irrelevant environmental stimuli and from irrelevant representations in memory. This led to the surprising result that heavy media multitaskers performed worse on a test of task-switching ability, likely due to reduced ability to filter out interference from the irrelevant task set. These results demonstrate that media multitasking, a rapidly growing societal trend, is associated with a distinct approach to fundamental information processing.
Primary and Secondary sources in perspective
1. Distance as measured by time
2. My question as a researcher
Questions to consider
Author's perspective

Single or multiple sources

Empirical Research

Disciplinary context
Primary sources are:
close in proximity to a specific time, event or moment of creation
minimally processed or altered
textual documents, images, audio or video recordings, objects, actions or sets of actions - any format and just about any thing that contains information
Secondary Sources are:
made up of, based upon, in some way derived from primary sources
more removed in time
Primary and Secondary Sources are not mutually exclusive.

Distance, as measured by time, can transform a secondary source into a primary source.
Full transcript