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RESEARCH METHODS AND LEGISLATION OVERVIEW OF METHODS -different methods ask different questions -determining study validity -example: media craze and marijuana during the 1930s. Generally believed that it would cause temporary insanity, violence, criminality, sexual depravity, Reefer Madness. They were backed up with “studies”. -proverb about three blind men and an elephant: (research method) First man: Grabs trunk, thinks it’s a snake Second man: Touches belly, thinks it’s a wall Third man: Grabs leg, thinks it’s a tree trunk -They’re all wrong, but observations are bits of information from each man’s assessment that can be put together to form the correct answer, aka, “ meta-analysis Types: 1. Case study : an account of treatments to form a specific case. Studies someone who is a special case and has a specific disorder or something rare -highly detailed account from many interviews of patient, family members, physicians, etc. - method : multiple interviews and writing, getting key words filled with data - advantages : lots of info, rich in details with one on one interviews compared to surveys of thousands of people w/o follow up questions and only general understanding - disadvantages : lacks a scientific control group, not necessarily generalizable to the general population, and has a lot of potential for bias in interruption of info - control groups are useful because they are normal, not undergoing manipulation that would allow you to determine a cause -case studies aren’t useless even w/o control group. They’re seen in medical journals especially with abnormal conditions 2. Naturalistic observation: seen in field work – as it is naturally and not manipulated by researcher - Example: botanists that go down the river and describe flowers and plants. New species and changes to landscape can be observed over time - Advantage : gives insight into real-life behavior/conditions - Disadvantage : the data collected are subject to observer’s interpretation ( observation bias ), no proper control group - Still can be useful: for example, we know that if people partake in lots of alcohol, their chances of social aggression encounter are much greater than the general population’s. 3. Laboratory studies: they can range from simply or elaborate (meant to look like real locations but in a lab). - Can use humans or non-human subjects - Advantage : proper control, reduces bias (investigators can be double-blind), hone in on desired populations instead of hoping that population will participate o Bias is reduced but not completely eliminated
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o Single blind: subject doesn’t know if they’re in experimental or control o Double blind: both subject and investigator don’t know – you just use numbers on paperwork - Knowing what you expect to find might lead to bias subconsciously such as signs of expectation and misinterpreting - Disadvantage : not necessarily going to produce a naturalistic environment (which might result in missing important interactions with some aspect of natural world (ie
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