Statistical analyses and/or the ethics of the study

Question 1.


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Dr John teaches introductory sociology. He doesn’t like marking written assessments, so gets his students to give a series of four oral presentations across the semester instead. The first presentation of the semester is a solo presentation, and is worth 40%. During the presentations he observes all the students carefully, and gives each a “nervousness” score between 1 and 5, where higher scores indicate higher nervousness. He then invites the 26 students with nervousness scores of 5 to participate in a study examining the efficacy of a confidence building program he has recently developed. The 13 students seated in the front of the room were allocated to take part in the program facilitated by Dr John and the remaining 13 students were asked to practice talking in front of a mirror once a week for the entire semester. All 26 students agree to participate in the study.


The final presentation of the semester is a group presentation, and is worth 10%. Although 6 students from his original sample have withdrawn from the unit, Dr John makes observations of remaining 20, seven that took part in Dr John program and 13 who talked in front of a mirror. Dr John is pleased to find that the mean nervousness score is now just 2.8 for the experimental condition compared to 4.2 for the control condition. He runs a paired samples t-test, which is statistically significant, t(18) = 7.18, p < .001, and thus he concludes that his confidence building program is effective. He begins preparing a conference presentation in which he plans to argue that his program is an excellent new method of reducing the public-speaking nerves that many undergraduate students experience.


Identify and explain FOUR distinct reasons why Dr John is about to make a fool of himself at the conference.  (200 words)


Tip: You may wish to comment on one or more threats to the internal validity of Dr John’s research, the execution of his statistical analyses and/or the ethics of his study.

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