thinking critically about the scientific research methods
The Methods section is a detailed description of exactly how the study was conducted. This detail is important so the reader can determine the appropriateness of the method for answering the scientific question(s). It is also important for another researcher to be able to replicate the study, so this section tends to read a lot like a recipe.
The following questions will help you evaluate the method:
- Who are the participants and are they appropriate for the study?
- What is the research design, and it is appropriate for the research question(s)?
- What are the measures, and do they address the research questions(s)?
- What ethical considerations are important to address? Are they all addressed in the report?
These questions are a mix of fact-finding questions and critical thinking questions. The Method section contains a lot of scientific jargon and it is essential to understand exactly what was done in order to evaluate whether it was done "right."
Read through the Method section of the End et al. (2010) report, and once you are ready, work through the questions on the following pages.