Approaches to Research

Critical Thinking Questions

In this section, conjoined twins, Krista and Tatiana, were described as being potential participants in a case study. In what other circumstances would you think that this particular research approach would be especially helpful and why?

Hint:

Case studies might prove especially helpful using individuals who have rare conditions. For instance, if one wanted to study multiple personality disorder then the case study approach with individuals diagnosed with multiple personality disorder would be helpful.

Presumably, reality television programs aim to provide a realistic portrayal of the behavior displayed by the characters featured in such programs. This section pointed out why this is not really the case. What changes could be made in the way that these programs are produced that would result in more honest portrayals of realistic behavior?

Hint:

The behavior displayed on these programs would be more realistic if the cameras were mounted in hidden locations, or if the people who appear on these programs did not know when they were being recorded.

Which of the research methods discussed in this section would be best suited to research the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program in preventing the use of alcohol and other drugs? Why?

Hint:

Longitudinal research would be an excellent approach in studying the effectiveness of this program because it would follow students as they aged to determine if their choices regarding alcohol and drugs were affected by their participation in the program.

Aside from biomedical research, what other areas of research could greatly benefit by both longitudinal and archival research?

Hint:

Answers will vary. Possibilities include research on hiring practices based on human resource records, and research that follows former prisoners to determine if the time that they were incarcerated provided any sort of positive influence on their likelihood of engaging in criminal behavior in the future.