Does the research design exhibit construct and internal validity?
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The research demonstrates internal and constructs validity. The paper seeks to establish to what extent playing video games affects the performance of students. Drawing from previous conclusions where the effect of watching TV had been looked into, the author brings out the effect of playing video games on performance. Of the 671 students the study interviewed regarding their history of playing video games, the majority that had such history reported lower GPAs.
Is the sampling method appropriate for the type of research?
The appropriateness of the sampling method is partly skewed. The study interviewed 671 students from a psychology class. The researcher ensured that the sample was multiethnic. However, despite this demographic representation, students from different disciplines should have been included as they may face different experiences with playing video games. This way the likelihood of a person having a particular perception about a course may have been erased. For example, psychology students may think that the course is easy and resort to playing video games to kill extra time, which may eventually affect results. Hence, the sampling method represented the population only to some extent.
What impact does the size of the sample have on the result(s)?
The sample size was appropriate but was limited to only one class (psychology) from one university. The participants may have been multiethnic but the researcher should have included different classes such as science, business, and math. Sample size may not hurt the results as long as it is representative of the population.
Are statistics used appropriately, do they make sense?
Putting aside the loopholes that assemblage of the sample may have on the results, relevant statistics are used. Although errors can compound each other in such a scenario (Trochim, 2006), regression analysis as used in this study will candidly bring out the causal effect of playing video games on performance.
Are there confounding variables or conditions in the study?
As shown above, sampling brought about areas that may confuse the reader and maybe affect results. However, the variables the study employs are understandable. This includes both High School and College GPA, ACT scores, video games watched in hours, and video games played in hours.
Are there threats to conclusion validity, i.e., Type I or Type II errors
The study may have few Type 1 errors. The author says that previous studies have shown that playing games and watching TV has had no relationship with performance. The author discounts this previous conclusion by saying that the games were not readily available (from childhood to adulthood) as they are nowadays. This forms the basis for a different result because, as the author argues, growing up with games and watching others play them considerably eats into your time to do homework and hence performance. This looks like an unjustified conclusion that may have another side of it as well. For example, it is also possible that a person who has played video games for such a long time will learn how to balance homework and games (Trochim, 2006).
Are there any other observations you deem relevant to supporting or refuting the study? Challenge the results. Are the study design and conclusions logical?
The author may have perfectly designed this study to support his conclusion. There are not any justifiable reasons to make some assumptions. For example, allowing students to give their scores on ACT and GPA may have skewed the results of the study. However, the part of the study that looks at violence and playing video games is justifiable as the researcher asks questions that directly touch on the experience of playing video games. Besides, conclusions about gender parities regarding video playing and results are justifiable because they touch on the experience of playing video games too. It is hard to say the same about other results.
Trochim, W.M. (2006). Research Methods Knowledge Base. Web.