2.6 Warming Up: The Ins and Outs of Sources: End-of-Chapter Exercises
Activity: Fact, Opinion, Objective, or Subjective?
Instructions: Identify the purpose–fact, opinion, objective, or subjective–for each statement.
- Statement I: “Party animals and wallflowers hoping to change their social personas may have no say in the matter. A study shows that introverts and extroverts show activity in different brain structures which mirror the wildly opposing aspects of their personalities.”
- Statement II: “In addition, when Cheek and Buss administered a questionnaire measuring shyness vs. low sociability to 947 college students, they found a very low correlation between shyness and low sociability–just because you’re shy doesn’t mean you don’t want to be around people, and vice versa.”
- Statement III: The reason why I have called for President Obama to issue an executive order banning these military-style firearms and magazines is because there is quite obviously no chance that a cowardly and intransigent Congress, in bed with the NRA, would risk passing gun-control legislation in an election year, or perhaps in any year given this political climate.
- Statement IV: By any measure, Anne Hathaway is one of the most important actresses of our time.
Activity: Popular, Professional, or Scholarly?
Instructions: Examine the title by clicking on its link. You will then need to choose specific issues and then articles to examine to determine the type of periodical it is.
Activity: Connecting the Dots beyond the Title
Instructions: Now you can practice evaluating for relevance beyond the title. In the previous activity, you evaluated for currency and relevance the tittles of three sources for the research question: How does “prospect theory” in behavioral economics help explain medical doctors’ decisinos to favor surgery or radiation to cure cancer in patients?
Judging by the title, the most relevant source for that research question seemed to be a journal article called “Cancer Treatment Prescription–Advancing Prospect Theory beyond Economics,” in Journal of The American Medical Association Oncology, June 2016.
Read the abstract of the article below. Then decide whether this source is relevant to your research question above. That is, will the article help you meet any of your project’s information needs? If there is at least one need it can help meet, then you should consider the article relevant.
Answer the question below the abstract. Then compare your answer with our feedback.
Your information needs are:
- To learn more background information.
- To answer your research question.
- To convince your audience that your answer is correct or, at least, the most reasonable answer.
- To describe the situation surrounding your research question for your audience and explain why it’s important.
- To report what others have said about question, including any different answers to your research question.
“Cancer Treatment Prescription–Advancing Prospect Theory beyond Economics,” in Journal of The American Medical Association Oncology, June 2016 (Note to students: This article and abstract are fictitious.)
Importance Cancer Treatment is complex. We expect oncologists to make treatment decisions according to definitive standards of care. Finding out that prospect theory demonstrates that they react very much like most other people when deciding to recommend surgery or chemotherapy for their patients indicates that more self-reflection on oncologists’ part could help patients make better decisions. (Prospect theory describes how people choose between alternatives that have risk when the probability of different outcomes is unknown.)
Objective To show whether prospect theory applies to how oncologists framed their recommendations for surgery or chemotherapy for patients in good condition and bad condition.
Design, Settings, and Participants Records of 100 U.S. oncologists were examined for the years 2014 and 2015, which documented patient conditions and the way oncologists framed their recommendations regarding surgery or chemotherapy. Thus, a quasi-experimental ex post facto design was used for the study.
Main Outcomes and Measures This study explored the relationship between the way in which the oncologists “framed” the choice of surgery or chemotherapy as they made recommendations to patients, to patients’ conditions, and the choice actually made. Those results were compared to what prospect theory would predict for this situation.
Results Physicians seemed to present their recommendation of surgery or chemotherapy in a loss frame (e.g., “This is likely to happen to you if you don’t have this procedure”) when patients’ conditions were poor and in a gain frame (e.g., “By having this procedure, you can probably dramatically cut your chances of reoccurrence”) when their conditions were less poor. These results are what prospect theory would have predicted.
Conclusions and Relevance This study opens up the possibility that, as described by prospect theory, a person’s choice of framing behavior is not limited to how we naturally act for ourselves but includes how we act for other people, as the oncologists were acting on behalf of their patients. More research is necessary to confirm this line of evidence and determine whether oncologists’ decision making and framing is the most effective and entirely according to the best standards of care.
- a. To learn more background information.
- b. To answer your research question.
- c. To convince your audience that your answer is correct or, at least, the most reasonable answer.
- d. To describe the situation surrounding your research question for your audiencea and explain why it’s important.
- e. To report what others have said about your question, including different answers to your research question.
See footnotes for answers.