Statistical Studies

1. Find two articles (not blogs or opinion-based articles) from a newspaper, magazine, or reputable source on the
internet.
A. The first should be about an experimental study that has been done.
B. The second should be about an observational study that has been done.
C. Cite the sources of the articles (APA or MLA format).

Note: They can be on any topic. You will attach the articles (or URL links cited correctly) to the end of your project.

Here are a couple of links with lists of articles you may choose from, or you may find your own based on personal interests:

http://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/100/correlation_or_causation.htm

Google Search: statistical study articles

2. For each article (experimental and observational):
A. Write a paragraph that is at least four sentences long summarizing the study.
B. State if it is an experimental or observational study.
C. Address (with at least one paragraph each) all 8 guidelines for reading statistical studies.
D. If it is an experiment, discuss the treatment, and whether it had a control group. Also talk about whether it was single-blind, double-blind or neither.
E. If it is an observational study, discuss whether it was case-controlled, and if so, explain.
F. Write a concluding paragraph of at least four sentences summarizing your thoughts on the article based on the guidelines you described in part C.

8 guidelines for reading statistical studies.

1. Get a Big Picture View of the Study. You should understand the goal of the study, the population that was under study, and whether the study was observational or an experiment.

2. Consider the Source. Look for potential sources of bias on the part of the researchers.
3. Look for Bias in the Sample. Decide whether the sampling method was likely to produce a representative sample.

4. Look for Problems in Defining or Measuring the Variables of Interest. Ambiguity in the variables can make it difficult to interpret reported results.

5. Beware of Confounding Variables. If the study neglected potential confounding variables, its results may not be valid.

6. Consider the Setting and Wording in Surveys. Look for anything that might tend to produce inaccurate or dishonest responses.

7. Check That Results Are Presented Fairly. Check whether the study supports the conclusions that are presented in the media.

8. Stand Back and Consider the Conclusions. Evaluate whether the study achieved its goals. If so, do the conclusions make sense and have practical significance?

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