From: Scott Chase (email@example.com)
Date: Mon 28 Mar 2005 - 12:06:18 GMT
--- Keith Henson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> At 01:18 PM 27/03/05 -0800, you wrote:
> >Dear Keith,
> >>For at least ten years I though a worthwhile
> research project would
> >>to find the kids who were in that class and
> interview them and a
> >>control group to see if the experience changed the
> course of their
> >>lives. Now I am not so sure you would find
> anything useful by
> >>groping in the dark without a theory to guide such
> an investigation.
> >Jones taught only 1/3 of the Contemporary History
> classes that year. The
> >other classes could provide comparisons.
> While that's true, I had rather use the same class
> from a nearby high
> school such as Palo Alto as a control because the
> kids at Cubberly were
> exposed to the school newspaper story.
> >But, as you suggest, a hypothesis testing approach
> seems unlikely to
> >produce much of value.
> Especially when you don't have a theory about what
> happened. :-)
> >Case study methodology seems more appropriate. :-)
> The question I used to think was important was to
> see if the experience
> made the kids any less likely to be taken advantage
> of in their adult
> lives. Because the group was relatively small, it
> would take really
> careful study design to get meaningful results.
> What you would be looking
> for might be called a "gullibility index."
> I have known parents who teased children with "tall
> tales" when they were
> little. I have often wondered if a family tradition
> of teasing kids this
> way led to them building "input filters" that
> critically examined incoming
> data--even from their parents. There has been a
> great deal of noise about
> teaching critical thinking skills to school children
> usually at the high
> school level. That might be *way* too late if this
> skill is like language
> On the other hand, gullibility might be largely
> determined by genes. It is
> certainly easy to come up with evidence supporting
> either hypothesis.
> Another thought would be to try this on current
> school 10th grade students,
> especially if a bit of study indicated it didn't
> hurt the Cubberly
> kids. Would the results be different today? I.e.,
> was there something
> different about these kids born in the middle of the
> baby boom era?
I think I asked in a previous post about the ethical considrations of such an experiment. If you were a researcher at a university in a psychology department, would this be the sort of research that would pass ethics review? If you said you were going to go to a high school and subject a class to such a manipulation techniques would they ask: "You're going to do what!?" Would a school board, high school prinicipal or local PTA object to such a thing?
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