Assignment 1: Should You Believe a Statistical Study?
We are bombarded by statistical information from a wide variety of sources. Much of the statistical research performed in the world is conducted with a great deal of integrity, validity, and reliability. However, there are many statistical studies that are conducted that are—whether intentionally or unintentionally—plagued by bias.
As a member of society, and as a consumer, it is prudent to develop the skills necessary to critically examine reported statistical claims. Determining whether the report contains bias is a great way to determine the reliability of study results and make a better informed decision.
In this assignment, you will apply the guidelines found in the textbook Unit 5B “Should You Believe a Statistical Study?” in order to critically analyze the content, design, and reported results of a statistical study.
Conduct an Internet search to find a study whose statistical results have been published in the news or any other public forum. Applying the following guidelines, critically analyze the study’s reported content and results.
- Identify the goal, population, and type of study.
- Who conducted the study? Is there bias here?
- Is there bias in the sample used in the study?
- Are there any problems in defining or measuring the variables of interest in the study?
- Are there any confounding variables present in the study?
- Are the results presented fairly?
- Is the study’s conclusion reasonable? Does it make sense?
- Do the results make practical significance?