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Critical Questions: Hypothesis and Research Design When thinking critically about research or a claim, the first step is to figure out exactly what they are talking about.  This is especially true when you are reading a journalist’s presentation of research.  Often the headline makes a strong claim (e.g., “[fill in the blank] Causes Cancer”) that the research itself does not make and/or the article extends the research to consider potential implications or future directions (E.g., “Babies raised on Beethoven will be geniuses”) that were not examined in the research they are presenting. Closely read the following article. Create a post identifying the hypothesis and the research design used in this study.  You will see any posts of other only after you create yours. Your post is due by Sunday, 11:59 p.m.. Consider the following questions.  Where does the author(s) state their research question (e.g., this study will address the following..”). It should be a question that can be measured and determined if true or now. If you are reading a journal article about research, there may be other statements about the research and its goals, so look for the most concrete and specific question.  How did the researcher(s) go about answering the question? Did they watch people, ask people, or examine records? Was there a medical test or experiment used? If you are reading original research, this is often found in the methods section. If it is an article about research, this can be harder to find.  Gabbiadini A, Riva P, Andrighetto L, Volpato C, Bushman BJ (2016) Acting like a Tough Guy: Violent-Sexist Video Games, Identification with Game Characters, Masculine Beliefs, & Empathy for Female Violence Victims. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0152121. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152121  If you have not read a scientific paper before, this short guide may help you make sense of its organization: How to read and understand a scientific article by Dr. Jennifer Raff


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