Case Study Reflection on Abnormal Psychology

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Dr. Eniale used the three steps of the scientific method, the first step was he observed something. In this case, he used his experience of yoga and worked out and had interactions with his grandmother. This led him to step two of the scientific method which was (presumably) to find out further information about health and age. The third step was he created a hypothesis and his was that people who are over 65 can live longer if they eat in a more healthy way and consistently exorcize and this would occur because they would have a lifestyle that is healthier.

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The next step is when Dr. Eniale tested his own hypothesis with an experiment. Dr. Eniale did this by designing one in which he took people from three different assisted living homes, each home has a different degree of support for the people who lived in them. He gave them different meals and all of them came from Wendy’s. These meals ranged from healthy to unhealthy and Dr. Eniale introduced exorcize to each group for a varied amount of time and days per week and asked members of the staff to give numerous questionnaires to the people in the study.

The fifth step was he had to interpret his findings. He did this by using graphs and statistic and came up with that a decrease in people in poor health were reported at Paradise Haven and an increase in the number of people who exorcized. At the other facilities such as Geriatric General, they had mixed results. At the Sunset Village facility, fewer people were in poor health ( or reported they were). This facility had fewer people engage in exorcize. He hasn’t made a conclusion, he has just been analyzing the results.

I believe this is an experiment because Dr. E is looking for a cause and effect relationship. The cause is healthy diets and exorcize and the effect is living longer because of it. This experiment also has an Independent Variable and a Dependent Variable. The Independent variable would be both the type of food the subject ate (salad, the chicken burger, or the baked potato and chili etc.) and the amount of exorcizing the patients got. The dependent variable would be the overall health of the subjects.

I am not confident in the results of this study, the reasons for this come from numerous confounds, ethical challenges, and containment that can clearly be seen. The first is that I believe the assignment to groups is not random, this study is grouping the participants according to what facility they are in, I think this is problematic because each person in each facility’s health probably varies, so instead of going by just facility they should go by each individuals health from these three facilities. Another confound that the sampling was not random, Dr. E basically only sampled three assisted living facilities, I believe that if he were to introduce people who were not in assisted living facilities who were over the age of 65 it could really randomize the sample. Another confound could be experimenter bias, the people who are in charge of the questionnaires are not neutral parties, they are the staffers of the assisted living facilities so they could have a potential bias and that could have an impact on the study. The people who should be handling the data should be Dr. E’s research team or the researcher himself. This issue with the researcher and the staff can be both a contamination and a confound, these individuals may know how to deal with the people in the homes, but that does not necessarily mean they are capable of collecting data. The last confound is related to subject bias, this is the use of the questionnaire. Given that the subjects are being paid and given incentives to exorcize that could create a potential bias in the questionnaire.

If I could help Dr. E with his study I would suggest he continues to sample all three homes, but do it on an individual basis. What I mean by this is through interviews find a sample of people who would fit the study throughout each home instead of just using a variety of unvetted people. I also would include a group who isn’t in one of those homes who is living either by themselves or without any aid. The reason for this is because it can increase the sample size and really help randomize the sample. The other way this study can be helped is using an actual research for data collection instead of just the staff, I feel like if that aspect of the experiment was changed it could help get rid of some potential bias. The other way this experiment could be improved comes from fixing the ethical issues, such as using subjects who can't understand or sign the consent form. This could undermine the experiment if it ever came out in a process like a review. To fix the issue of subject bias the best possible idea is to create a single blind study, which would use medical tests to determine health instead of just questionnaires, this would eliminate any potential bias that would occur. As you can see this is what is wrong with this experiment and these are the best ways to try and fix it.

Works cited

  1. American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). American Psychological Association.
  2. Eniale, D. (Year). [Title of the study]. Unpublished manuscript.
  3. Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (2011). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in. Penguin.
  4. Gravetter, F. J., & Forzano, L. B. (2021). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.
  5. Kerlinger, F. N., & Lee, H. B. (2000). Foundations of behavioral research (4th ed.). Cengage Learning.
  6. Trochim, W. M. K., & Donnelly, J. P. (2007). The research methods knowledge base (3rd ed.). Atomic Dog.
  7. Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (2008). Essentials of behavioral research: Methods and data analysis (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill.
  8. Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2019). Research methods in psychology (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill.
  9. Trochim, W. M. K. (2006). The research methods knowledge base (2nd ed.). Atomic Dog.
  10. Wood, S. E., Wood, E. G., & Boyd, D. (2021). Research methods in psychology: Evaluating a world of information (3rd ed.). Pearson.

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