Saturday, December 06, 2008

Interesting Research

Tyler Cowen is unimpressed with this scholarly article:
There is inadequate understanding about why people might not own pets. This qualitative study asked eight elderly women and men to discuss why they do not have a pet, whether pets were deemed beneficial to health, and whether they had plans for future pet ownership. Reasons for not owning a pet were Emotional or Pragmatic; Pragmatic reasons were categorized as relating to Convenience, Negative aspects of companion animals and Competing demands on time or energy. Participants expressed mixed feelings in their plans for future pet ownership. Clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
I'll match Cowen with this one, purporting to analyze the practice of high-stakes testing in schools:
This study examined elementary students' perceptions of high-stakes testing through the use of drawings and writings. On the day after students completed their high-stakes tests in the spring, 225 students were asked to "draw a picture about your recent testing experience." The same students then responded in writing to the prompt "tell me about your picture. " . . . The researchers examine the prevailing negativity in students' responses and suggest ways to decrease students' overall test anxiety, including making changes in the overall testing culture and changing the role teachers play in test preparation.
The article doesn't even mention a control group -- i.e., 225 students asked to draw pictures about how they felt a non-high-stakes test.


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