The article that is selected from the SPARQ website for the further discussion is entitled “To Work Better, Rethink Stress” (Lyons-Padilla, n.d.). This article summarizes the findings provided by Crum, Salovey, and Achor (2013) in their study. In social psychology studies, much attention should be paid to methods that researchers use in order to investigate a certain problem. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to describe the methods used in the selected study and analyze ethical implications related to this research.
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In their study oriented to examining the role of mindsets in employees’ perceptions of and reactions to stress, Crum et al. (2013) applied the quantitative methodology associated with conducting an experiment based on a series of three studies. It was found that people’s perceptions of stress or their mindsets influence their responses to stress. Moreover, if people change their approach to thinking about stress, their response to stress also changes (Lyons-Padilla, n.d.). Thus, those people who have a stress-is-enhancing mindset can positively respond to stress.
The research methodology that Crum et al. (2013) used in their study can be viewed as the most appropriate one for investigating the problem. The reason is that the researchers selected an experiment involving respondents who participated in stress-is-debilitating, stress-is-enhancing, and control groups (Lyons-Padilla, n.d.). Experiments allow for demonstrating causal relationships, and this approach is most appropriate to determine whether a certain stress mindset can influence an individual’s response to stress.
Furthermore, it is possible to state that the experiment associated with conducting several studies is the only method that can provide the researchers with data regarding their propositions or assumptions. The reason is that Crum et al. (2013) conducted their experiment with the help of three studies. As a result, they were able to test reliability and validity of the used measurement tool during the first study. In addition, during the second study, they conducted the actual experiment based on demonstrating how interventions (watching videos) could alter stress mindsets and affect responses to stress in contrast to results for a control group. The third study was important to demonstrate mechanisms that supported the reported changes in stress mindsets. It is possible to conduct only one experiment to test the major assumption proposed by the researchers, but their complex approach based on a series of studies is more appropriate because it provides more detailed information.
Ethical implications that can be discussed in the context of this study are associated with using informed consent forms in order to ensure that all respondents understand and accept specifics of the study. For instance, according to Crum et al. (2013), the respondents were expected to be videotaped for the further analysis of their behavior during the second and third studies, and they were informed about this aspect. As a result, the anonymity of the respondents was violated, and this aspect needed to be reflected in an informed consent form. If these conditions are addressed, the study can be viewed as ethical in its nature.
The analysis of the study by the group of researchers indicates that they used the relevant methodology to examine the problem. The selected experiment is appropriate because it is based on a series of studies conducted according to the principles of the quantitative methodology. Still, the lack of information regarding ethical procedures does not allow for stating strictly whether this study is ethical.
Crum, A. J., Salovey, P., & Achor, S. (2013). Rethinking stress: The role of mindsets in determining the stress response. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(4), 716-733.
Lyons-Padilla, S. (n.d.). To work better, rethink stress. Web.