Discussion – Bad science?

Discussion – Bad science?


Watch the TED Talk Battling Bad Science (14 minutes). Find a current media story that cites at least one research study to advise you on some aspect of your life (examples: drink a glass of wine a day to prevent something, don’t eat avocados to prevent something, mediate for better mental health, etc). The story could be a video, something publicized through social media or an article in a newspaper or magazine.


Read through the story and then search for the original research study through the OLLU library. Write a discussion post describing:

• The original media source that you found;

• Your search for the original research article;

• A brief overview of the original research article; and

• An assessment of whether it is in your best interest to follow that advice.

300-350 words


Q: Does the topic of the article have to related to Social Work?

A: For this post, the topic can be anything that you see floating around the media.

Q: How current does the media article have to be?

A: Find something as current as possible, but there are no date restrictions.

Q: Where can I find an article?

A: Usually there are stories that pop up on social media that spread quickly claiming “new research study finds…” Any of those stories would be good for this assignment as the purpose is for you to trace an article in popular media back to the research article.

Q: What if I cannot find the research article?

A: If whatever is cited in popular media says “peer-reviewed study”, then you should be able to trace the article to a journal article through the OLLU library. If the media says “report,” it is likely something published on a website and a google search might be more appropriate. If you truly cannot find the original article, report in your discussion post how you search for it and that you could not find it. Be very sure that you did a thorough search because if your professor can find it, you should be able to as well.

Q: How can I tell if the research article says something that is valid?

A: Do not use your opinions or experiences as a reference. This is a research course so you need to look at the research in that article. Is the author making valid claims in their findings based on what they researched? Did the media distort those findings? Use your textbook as a reference. You may need to flip ahead in the chapters to look at things like sampling and data collection depending on your chosen article.




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