Chapter 2. Psychological Research

Chapter 2. Critical Thinking Questions

  • Which of the research methods discussed in this chapter would be best suited to study the impact of diet and exercise on the prevalence of a disease such as diabetes? Why?
  • Aside from biomedical research, what other areas of research could greatly benefit from archival research?
  • Recently a study was published in the journal, Nutrition and Cancer, which established a negative correlation between coffee consumption and breast cancer. Specifically, it was found that women consuming more than 5 cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop breast cancer than women who never consumed coffee (Lowcock et al., 2013). Imagine you see a newspaper story about this research that says, “Coffee Protects Against Cancer.” Why is this headline misleading and why would a more accurate headline draw less interest?
  • Sometimes, true random sampling can be very difficult to obtain. Many researchers make use of convenience samples as an alternative. For example, one popular convenience sample would involve students enrolled in Introduction to Psychology courses. What are the pros and cons of using this sampling technique?
  • Peer review is an important part of publishing research findings in many scientific disciplines. This process is normally conducted anonymously; in other words, the author of the article being reviewed does not know who is reviewing the article, and the reviewers are unaware of the author’s identity. Why would this be an important part of this process?
  • Some argue that animal research is inherently flawed in terms of being ethical because unlike human participants, animals do not consent to be involved in research. Do you agree with this perspective? Given that animals do not consent to be involved in research projects, what sorts of extra precautions should be taken to ensure that they receive the most humane treatment possible?
  • Suppose you are interested in exploring the relationship between sleep quality and academic performance among college students. How would you design a correlational study to examine this relationship? Identify the variables involved, explain the appropriate statistical analysis, and discuss the potential limitations of correlational research in establishing causality.
  • Considering the advantages and disadvantages of naturalistic observation, how would you approach conducting an observational study on children’s social interactions in a school setting? Discuss the ethical considerations involved and propose strategies to minimize observer bias and maintain the ecological validity of your study.



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Introduction to Psychology (A critical approach) Copyright © 2021 by Jill Grose-Fifer; Rose M. Spielman; Kathryn Dumper; William Jenkins; Arlene Lacombe; Marilyn Lovett; and Marion Perlmutter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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