Case Study: The Effects of Pollution on Prenatal Intelligence

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Ryan Cross
PSYC 101-02C
Paper # 1
June 23rd, 2010

Which research method was apparently used in the original study: case study, observational study, survey, correlation, or experiment? I believe that this study is making a correlation to prenatal pollution and the IQ of its participants so therefore it is using the correlation research method. Explain your answer to the first question with at least three reasons. Correlation Research is defined as a scientific study in which the researcher observes or measures (without directly manipulating) two or more variables to find relationships between them. The first reason this study uses the correlation method of research is that it coincides almost directly with the textbook definition of correlation research. The researchers were studying the effect that pollution during the pregnancy months had on IQ scores of the children being observed. The researchers measured this by using backpack air monitors on 249 expecting mothers for 48 hours during the last few month of pregnancy. This helped to determine the actual level of pollutants that the women were being exposed to. They then gave the children of these mothers and IQ test at age 5 before they entered school. The study showed that children with higher exposure to prenatal pollutants scored 4 to 5 points lower than children with lower levels of exposure to prenatal pollutants. This makes a negative correlation between the amount of prenatal pollution and IQ scores of expecting mothers’ children. Another reason it is not the experimental research method is the experimental research method uses a more direct approach. It would have been conducted in a way that controlled the variables more closely. Case studies are done on a much narrower span of people mainly on one person. Surveys involve just asking questions and comparing the answers rather than using such things as the back pack air monitors and IQ tests. Describe how well the author of this news...
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