Peer reviewed journal articles have an academic, formal tone while news articles or Facebook postings have a less formal tone. Academic articles need to be reviewed by the APA, or the actually academic journal that publishes the information. News articles tend to be biased towards whatever news outlet for example, Fox News is a conservative media outlet. This means that if Fox News is reporting something or has an article out, it will most likely be biased towards conservative views and may only focus on aspects of the situation that conservatives would relate to. In order to be an intelligent consumer, one must be aware of these biases that exist in media outlets and be able to see past them. I often see articles or posts on Facebook that will throw statistics about the topic into the article. However, you cannot just take that statistic and declare it as a fact because we would need to know the source and study that actually determined the statistic. Another factor to consider is who funded a specific research study. There can be biases in the research if the funding is coming from a large company that could benefit from this specific research. For example, if there is new research that states that there are no negative side effects or health issues to vaping, but the study is funded by a large national vaping company, the individual reading the article needs to pause and think about the potential biased. The key is to always be very aware of any potential biases and factor that into the results.
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CLASSMATE #2—–M. D.
When comparing peer-reviewed research to consumer research, a bias of study comes to mind. I feel that this bias starts with who they are sampling. Volunteering sampling or convenience sampling are primarily used in consumer response research. These types of sampling methods are incredibly biased, and the data from the study can represent false results. For instance, using a convenience sampling method, the population is targeted by the researcher but does not pull a good representation of the entire sample population. Therefore, their measures are interpreted by selected participants that may not represent how a whole population may feel about a product or the condition studied.
An example is surveying people randomly on the street about their preference associated with the research. The investigator may demonstrate personal bias by surveying individuals they feel comfortable approaching. If this occurs during surveying, then the sampling is skewed and not a good representation of the general population (Khan Academy, 2018). Peer-reviewed studies follow empirical methods within their research and is often backed by previous studies to help validate their claims, which analysis from this study is more acceptable and reliable.
When considering using consumer research or “lay sources,” a couple of things must be reviewed to determine if the analysis is valid. First as mentioned above is the sampling method. If voluntary or convenience methods are used, were they retested in other markets or repeated numerous times to help with validity? What statistical method used to determine the results? Was the appropriate sample size used within confidence testing? Was a post-ad-hoc performed to determine the probability within findings? Lastly, do not believe everything you read until adequate testing has been assessed. An observational or correlational study is to demonstrate a linkage between events, not display cause and effect (Sukal, 2013). Even if the linkage is found between variables, one cannot say with full confidence that something “caused” an incident without further research.
Sampling methods review. (2018). Khan Academy. Retrieved: https://www.khanacademy.org/math/statistics-probability/designing-studies/sampling-methods-stats/a/sampling-methods-review
Sukal, M. (2013). Research methods: Applying statistics in research. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.