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PSYC20038 Positive Psychology Assignment Sample

Assignment Brief

Assessment - Critical Review and Future Research Recommendations

Task Description

In this final assessment, you will source and critically evaluate two published empirical research articles, and develop a future research question based on your critical evaluation of these articles.
The two articles critically evaluated will be your choice, but must be:

a) Peer-reviewed primary source journal articles (i.e., articles reporting new research findings from an original empirical study conducted by the authors - not a review article). The articles must be published in reputable journals.

b) Relevant to one specific area of interest in the positive psychology/ wellbeing/resilience domain, but this must be a different area of focus than the choice in Assessment 1. You will source two journal articles each reporting an empirical study relevant to the chosen area of interest, ensuring that you have not previously critiqued these journal articles in this unit or other units in this course.

Please note: Assessment 3 must be completed individually., i.e., alone. It is an independent assessment piece and you cannot work with other students/people to complete it.

Your ‘critical review and future research recommendations’ assessment piece will include consideration of the following:

1) What is the predominant area of interest for the researcher/s, and why is the area considered important? (This will become the basis for the introduction.)

2) What are the main research questions in each article?

3) Compare and contrast the methodologies used by the researchers in each article (how were their samples, research methods, procedures, measures similar and different to each other?)

4) What are the key findings in each of the research publications, and do they appear to be justified? (Are the conclusions drawn justified based on the evidence gained in the study?)

5) What are the strengths and limitations of each of the chosen research publications? (This critical appraisal should be more than a repetition of the limitations that the article authors report themselves)

6) A critical evaluation of the suggestions made by the researcher(s) for future research (i.e., critique the appropriateness of the suggestions for future research that were made by the study authors, and whether other suggestions could be warranted)

7) Identification of an important ‘gap’ in the research literature (based on the 2 chosen publications) that you propose could be further explored in research, and a justification for why this proposed future research would be worthwhile (e.g., Why is this future research important?

The maximum word count for this assessment task is 2000 words (+/- 10%).

Assessment Criteria for assignment help

Using a marking rubric, your Assessment 3 submission will be assessed on:

• Identification of the predominant research area of interest in the empirical studies, and their research questions

• Quality of comparing and contrasting of the research methodologies used in the studies

• Ability to summarize, interpret, and critique the reported research findings in the studies

• Quality and comprehensiveness of the identification of the strengths, weaknesses, and future research directions

• Critical analysis of key gaps/areas for further research based on the chosen articles

• Rationale as to why the identified gap would be of benefit to address in future research

• Development of a meaningful research question using the principles of the PICO/PEO (Population, Intervention/Exposure, Comparison, and Outcomes) style framework

• Clarity, conciseness and quality of written communication and critical thinking in the assessment piece, and adherence to the word-limit

• Correct use of APA referencing style for in-text citations and the reference list.

Tips on how to critically evaluate research articles are available in Weeks 8-9 Moodle Workbook, and under the Assessment section of the Moodle page.

Assessment criteria and marking rubric for this assessment are shown on the following page.

Due date: Week 12, Tuesday 5 October 2021, 5:00pm AEST (QLD time).
Submission of Assessment 3 will be comprised of the following parts:

a) A word.doc containing your written work. The first page of the word.doc must be a title page containing your name and student number. (The APA style website contains an example you can follow)

b) The pdf files of the two chosen empirical research journal articles that you critically reviewed for Assessment 3.



In this both researches Mahsud et al. (2010) and Sosik et al. (2019), these both papers are still focused on to identify the leader's empathy and their ethical values. On a similar note the relation related behaviour and the good leadership behaviours based on several variables that are directly related with leader-member exchange quality are also included in this two research paper. It is true that both the papers essays and leaders' empathy and ethical values as well as relation oriented behaviour but this paper does not include how the variables are directly related in the LMX situation. It has been identified that the relationship and testing the proposed and described variables are also resulting in the leaders’ relation oriented behaviour. From this it can be stated that the relationship between leaders' empathy basically mediates the ethical relationship and leadership.

It is true that there are several recommendations present based on future research to verify and extend all the results that have been provided by the findings. Also it is recognised that these findings are providing the primary support that triggered in the mechanism forgetting the positive outcomes and also so the research conducted on the officers who have a high level of self-control and also have honesty in them. It also has been identified that the implication and future theory development as well as research and practice are also important topics to understand the interpersonal relationship and their potential influences on the business. These studies are also providing gaps that particularly help to answer the research questions based on strong ethical leadership and the leaders having antecedent characters.

Research questions

In the first research paper, Mahsud et al. (2010) explore the leader's behaviour is directly related to the quality and also how the leader's empathy is having a direct relation with the use of relation-oriented behaviour. On the other hand, in this research by Sosik et al. (2019), mainly focused on identifying all the gaps and the questions asked whether the strong leadership is directly associated with leader’s antecedent character and what are the strength and leader outcomes for the leaders having high and low levels of self-control. On a similar note, the researcher also tested how the ethical leadership meditates different leadership relations and the models also explicate how the leader's nature of character are directly related with ethical relationship and impacts the leadership outcomes (Asif et al. 2019).

Research hypothesis of the articles

This following hypothesis is stated by Mahsud et al. (2010);

H1: The LMX quality is directly related with leader’s behavior focused on relation orientation

H2: Relation oriented behavior is positively influence the use of leader’s empathy

H3: The leaders’ empathy based on LMX providing the effect on leader’s relation orientation

H4: Leaders who have good ethical values using more behavior directly related with relation oriented

H5: It has been identified that the ethical leadership mediates the leader relation oriented behavior directly based on LMX These following hypotheses are stated by Sosik et al. (2019);

H6: Ethical leadership are mainly mediating the relationship between the honesty of leader and the positive outcome of leadership as well as psychological flourishing and the leaders in role performance

H7: Ethical leadership mainly maintains the leadership and also measures the leaders out came directly based on psychological processing and there in role performance

H8: It has been identified that there is a positive relationship present between the leader’s honesty and the leaders ethical values and these things are impacting the leader’s self-control

There are a total of 9 hypotheses present in the paper written by Sosik et al (2019), from those 9 hypotheses a total of three hypotheses has been selected as this hypothesis are clearly stating the ethical leadership and the relationship between leader’s honesty and outcomes. Note from the paper it has been identified that ethical leadership mediates the relationship between their sympathy and leaders’ outcomes. It also has been identified that these hypotheses have their own psychological and in role performances and also it concludes that leadership is much stronger when leaders have a high self-control. These things are directly related to the studies provided and that is why these three hypotheses have been selected.


Table 1: Methodology comparison

Key findings

The key findings for this research Mahsud et al. (2010), were leaders’ relationship-oriented behaviour can mediate the relationship between the leader empathy on the leader-member exchange quality and also partially mitigate the link between the ethical leadership. In the research findings, also recommended for future research is that it helps to verify and extend the results has been provided. As suggested by Ko et al. (2018), after getting the results from the regression analysis and SEM pet analysis, it has been identified that there is several evidence are present on the leaders and empathy and ethical leadership values as well as relation oriented behaviour as well as the antecedents of the LMX. On the other hand, this leadership behaviour is directly influenced by the leaders' perception and attribution regarding loyalty and dependability.

On the other hand, the key findings from Sosik et al. (2019) were consistent with the theoretical consideration that helps to determine all the moral courage in the organizations. It is also related with higher level of psychological flourishing and that role of performance providing. There are several exceptions that have indirect effect on the enrolment (Qing et al. 2020). On a similar note, these findings also provide a deep insight into motivational mechanism that is directly elevated by adapting the different actions to help the empathy.
Strengths and limitations

In this research, Mahsud et al. (2010), there are several limitations present in this study as the study is based on exactly the same data and the result pattern also supports the interpretation based on causal relationship. It also has been identified that the casualty cannot be determined by conducting any survey and also using the same respondents can help to support the same interpretation. In this study the leader's empathy can be mentioned as they are single subordinate perspective has been used but the leader sympathy rating also generates evaluation of the leader but the alternative of the leaders waiting are also subject to bias. In the hierarchical multiple regression analysis, the partial mediation model was also provided that showed the step of LMX that has been reduced to the leader's empathy and in the ethical leadership (Benevene et al. 2018).

Sosik et al (2019), there are several strains and limitations that have been present in this study and also a gap in ethical leadership has been provided by examining the honesty and empathy as well as moral courage is to the ethical leadership. On the other hand, the leaders outcomes and improved performance as well as psychological furnishing that provides the limitation of the study and future research is must to consider the character strengths from the leaders and subordinate perspective that may be limiting the leaders self-awareness and character strengths. On a similar note the limitations are mainly concerning the ethical leadership rating and it is not subordinates for each leader. On the other hand, the single subordinate ratings are types of descriptive results that are mainly followed by leader subordinate dyad. It is possible for leaders to have a list of subordinates to evaluate the ethical leadership in the most favorable way.

Future research evaluation

For the first research, Mahsud et al. (2010), it has been identified that future research can be conducted on ethical leadership that includes the others. It will also be very useful to ask the leaders about their values and check their agreement as well ratings.

For this research onSosik et al. (2019), in future research, it is very much important to assess the leadership character strengths from the leader's perspective and also subordinate perspective. The self-awareness of leaders and their character strengths also needs to be measured, and the limitations concerning the ratings of ethical leadership must be included in future research (Kock et al., 2019). For the future research 50 leaders from the different IT companies will be select as a target population to understand the leader’s character strengths. The exposure variables will include in the future research are leaders’ empathy and LMX and on a similar note the outcome variables will be relation behaviour and this will help to understand the leaders character strengths.

Research gap

The literature is based on character and ethical leadership and there are several gaps that have been identified but still remain unaddressed. It has been identified that most of the theories consist of social learning and social exchange having two theoretical frameworks that mainly explain ethical leadership and also helps to promote the subordinates to provide proper benefits to organization. It also has been identified that through the ethical role modelling the organizational benefits can be increased that also incorporate the feelings of fairness and trust. It is true that the conceptualization of the different ethical leadership are mainly results of exclusive emphasis and this evaluation of effectiveness of any particular leader and also called for additional research to identify the effects of ethical leadership on attitude and performance of the leaders. Prove that on different conditions the ethical leadership stays limited and they are becoming emerging topics that are perceived as ethical conviction. However, it is true that leaders' personal resources are coping up with stress by reducing self-control and it also has been identified that the ethical leadership boundary conditions are also based on different theories but still these theories are not tested. It is true that a gap of research is present to identify the leaders will be in a stressful nature especially in the context where ethical compliances are involved and change management and extreme dangerous missions are also included.

The gaps are present in this study Mahsud et al. (2010), as all the data was taken from a similar source, and the pattern stated in this research supports the interpretation of casual relationship whether it doesn't have the proper determination from the service study on which the data has been taken from the different respondents at the same time.

Future research question

These two research papers have population-based studies that show the leadership effects and orientation-related behaviours. It also demonstrates the leadership character strengths and leadership outcomes. The sample size will be the 100 employees from the different organisations. The future research questions are famed by using the PICO framework. In this future research questions also the research gasp is included.

1. How the leaders can effectively get the inside about career aspiration and job attitude?

2. How to fill the surveys and who will be the next subordinates of the leaders?

3. How the leaders can understand the talents and potential of their employees?

4. How much confidence the potential leaders have in their employee to complete the whole work?

5. Are the leaders being agree to extroverts to help the company during the difficulties?

6. What is the potential relationship with the leaders to their subordinates?

7. Whether the strong ethical leadership associated with leader and dissidence character strength or not?

8. How to test ethical leadership mediates and the relationship?

9. Why the military contacts are dangerous and extreme for the business and how they are promoting the professionalism?

10. How office leaders are promoting professionalism and ethical leadership as well as implementing honesty in social cognition?

11. How do the outcome variables such as relation behaviour help to understand the leader character strengths?

12. How to verify the research results on leader member exchange qualities and testing the proposed model?

This paper has explored the leader's sympathy and ethical values as well as relation related behaviour for good leadership and also examined how these variables are directly related to leader-member exchange quality by critically comparing the articles by Mahsudet al. (2010) and Sosik et al. (2019). Thus, it can be concluded that the impact and ethical values as well as relation-oriented behaviour is very much important for the leaders that can be useful to develop and reward the leaders. Therefore, the organisation can select the leaders who have good character strengths and also have psychological well-being. Future research based on the considered articles can be considered to identify impact of leadership skills on job related outcomes of subordinates.


Asif, M., Qing, M., Hwang, J., & Shi, H. (2019). Ethical leadership, affective commitment, work engagement, and creativity: Testing a multiple mediation approach. Sustainability, 11(16), 4489.doi:10.3390/su11164489

Benevene, P., Dal Corso, L., De Carlo, A., Falco, A., Carluccio, F., &Vecina, M. L. (2018). Ethical leadership as antecedent of job satisfaction, affective organizational commitment and intention to stay among volunteers of non-profit organizations. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2069.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02069

Ko, C., Ma, J., Bartnik, R., Haney, M. H., & Kang, M. (2018). Ethical leadership: An integrative review and future research agenda. Ethics &Behaviour, 28(2), 104-132.DOI:10.1080/10508422.2017.1318069

Kock, N., Mayfield, M., Mayfield, J., Sexton, S., & De La Garza, L. M. (2019). Empathetic leadership: How leader emotional support and understanding influences follower performance. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 26(2), 217-236.https://doi.org/10.1177/1548051818806

Mahsud, R., Yak, G., & Prussia, G. (2010). Leader empathy, ethical leadership, and relations?oriented behaviors as antecedents of leader?member exchange quality. Journal of Managerial Psychology.DOI 10.1108/02683941011056932

Qing, M., Asif, M., Hussain, A., & Jamaal, A. (2020). Exploring the impact of ethical leadership on job satisfaction and organizational commitment in public sector organizations: The mediating role of psychological empowerment. Review of Managerial Science, 14(6), 1405-1432.DOI: 10.1007/s11846-019-00340-9

Sosik, J. J., Chun, J. U., Ete, Z., Arenas, F. J., & Scherer, J. A. (2019). Self-control puts character into action: Examining how leader character strengths and ethical leadership relate to leader outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics, 160(3), 765-781.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-3908-0

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