ACTIVITY 4: IDENTIFYING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN A PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLE
The New York Times article (“A Simple Device to Detect Concussions”), that you read as part of the Preliminary Activities for the lab, was a summary of an actual scientific study that was performed by a team of researchers led by James Eckner. The Eckner team published their study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the British Journal of Sports Medicine. In Activity 4, you will read the Eckner article and compare it to the New York Times newspaper summary.
Read: Effect of Sport Related Concussion on Clinically Measured Simple Reaction Time (click here) by Eckner, J.T., Kutcher, J.S., Broglio, S.P., and Richardson, J.K. (2014). British Journal of Sports Medicine 48(2). doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091579
In the Eckner et al. (2014) study, what was the overall scientific question (scientific method step 2)?
In the Eckner et al. study, what was the hypothesis (scientific method step 3)?
In the Eckner et al. study, what was the dependent variable?
In the Eckner et al. study, what was the independent variable?
In the Eckner et al. study, what was the experimental group? What was the control group?
In the Eckner et al. study, what was the sample size for each treatment? Was this sample size appropriate for the design of the experiment? What would have happened if the sample size was smaller (for example, sample size = 5)?
In the Eckner et al. study, what were controlled variables?In the Eckner et al. study, what were confounding variables?
How does the Eckner et al. (2014) article differ from the New York Times article, “A Simple Device to Detect Concussions”.
Which article is easier to read?
Which article has more detail regarding the concussion study?
Which article is a more reliable source of information? Explain.
What is scientific peer-review? Who are the peer reviewers? What are the responsibilities of the peer reviewers?
If a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or a Doctor of Dentistry (D.D.S.) discussed the concussion study with a colleague, which publication would she/he likely rely upon? Why?
Given that BIOL& 160 students are typically studying to become healthcare professionals who will often be the most direct link between physician and patient, how important is it for BIOL& 160 students to be able to recognize levels of reliability in different forms of scientific communication?