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Empirical Research: Defining, Identifying, & Finding

What is empirical research, how do you recognize it, and how can you improve your searches to find it?

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Image: Example of a Structured Abstract

Objectives: This study used 2 waves of data to longitudinally examine [label: "Research Question"] whether internalized racism moderated the association between racial discrimination and anxiety symptom distress [end label]. Method: [label: "Sample"] Participants were 157 Black college students attending a predominantly White institution [end label] who completed [label: "Methodology"] measures of racial discrimination, internalized racism, and psychological distress [end label]. Results: Using hierarchical linear regression, results indicated a positive association between racial discrimination and subsequent anxiety symptom distress for individuals with moderate and high levels of internalization of negative stereotypes and hair change. Conclusions: Findings suggest that experiences of anxiety symptom distress, in the context of racial discrimination, may differ as a function of one’s acceptance and internalization of dominant White culture’s actions and beliefs toward Black people.


Image: Example of an Unstructured Abstract

Research on the college hookup scene consistently shows it to be heavily gendered and heteronormative. In spite of the extensive research on hookup culture, there are limited data on how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students navigate hookups on college campuses. Yet queer hookups potentially provide a space for students to challenge the dominant understandings of gender and sexuality that permeate the college hookup scene, creating alternative visions for how hookups and other sexual relationships may proceed. Drawing on [label: "Methodology"] interviews [end label] with [label: "Sample"] 24 LGBTQ college students at a regional university in the southeastern United States [end label], this research investigates [label: "Research Question"] how LGBTQ college students negotiate the hookup scene on college campuses [end label]. As we show, LGBTQ students are sharply critical of dominant hookup culture and aim to challenge heteronormative practices by deconstructing normative patterns of behavior, emphasizing communication and consent, and queering standards of pleasure. In spite of their stated aims, many respondents replicated gendered practices in their hookups, limiting the transformative potential of queer hookups. This study indicates that while LGBTQ students are actively working to remake hookup culture, and, in some ways, are succeeding, barriers to a more mindful hookup culture remain, even among those who explicitly seek new ways to pursue sexual relationships.