When considering a research idea, we are bound to rely on previous findings on the topic. Work done in the field constructs the foundation for our research and determines its course and value. Inaccurate findings may lead to imprecise applications and end in further fallacies in your own new scientific knowledge that you construct. In order to set a solid basis for research on any topic and to prevent multiplication of misinformation, it is crucial to to critically evaluate existing scientific evidence. It is important to know which information can be regarded as plausible.
So what’s the criteria to determine whether a result can be trusted? As it is taught in the first classes in psychology, errors may emerge from any phase of the research process. Therefore, it all boils down to how the research has been conducted and the results presented.
Meltzoff (2007) emphasizes the key issues that can produce flawed results and interpretations and should therefore be carefully considered when reading articles. Here is a reminder on what to bear in mind when reading a research article:
Read the rest of this entry »