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Psychological reaserch methods - Essay Example

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In an attempt to quantify the influence of visual attention therapy on the reading comprehension of a particular set of children, the authors hypothesize that if two groups of Grade 6 children with moderate reading disabilities are compared under controlled testing conditions, the group which has received a visual attention therapy that includes stimulus-driven and goal-directed procedures will experience a beneficial effect on their reading comprehension…
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Psychological reaserch methods
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Download file to see previous pages For the purposes of this study, and determining the effect of attention on these elements, perception is defined as that which makes visual information available, and cognition is the uses of that visual information. This is significant in this study because of the questions related to when does perception cease and cognitive processing begin.
Subjects were recruited from the New York City public school system, and all were tested with standardized methods to obtain an experimental group which demonstrated moderate reading disability. This was determined by using a selection criterion of scoring between 0.5 SD and 1.0 SD below national mean scores; one parameter of the study was to focus on mild-to-moderate reading disability (rather than severe) given the authors' perception that this group has been neglected in the area of therapeutic efficacy. Informed consent was obtained from both the parents and the children, and was approved by an independent review board.
The methodology was to use a battery of standardized attention tests to determine the level of reading disability and, once the parameters had been set, to divide the qualified population into two groups; control and test subject. The control group received no therapy between the initial and final rounds of testing, and the experimental group received 12 one-hour weekly sessions of computer-based reading comprehension therapy. At the end of the 12 week study period, both groups were re-tested and the results compared.
The analysis of the study was thorough, and utilized relevant literature and previous studies to provide scope and comment. While the authors recognize the need for further study in various areas, the results indicated that attention skills are measurable, attention therapy improves attention, and that the experimental group outscored the control group. The only additional elements that I might add to this research would be to expand it beyond its limited scope to include the evaluation of other attention deficit factors. The limitations to this study included a relatively small sample size, using an experimental methodology in a first-step study, and the inherent uncertainty related to attention studies generally.
I think the researchers were thorough and appropriate, in their methodology, ethical in their application, correct in their analysis, and validated their hypothesis. The study itself was presented logically, clearly, and comports with the standard research reporting regimen of practitioners at this level.
References
Solan, H.A., Shelley-Tremblay, J., Ficarra, A., Silverman, M., & Larson, S. (2003).Effect of attention therapy on reading comprehen ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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