Select and read one peer-reviewed article (attached). Ideally, this should be one on your topic that you may ultimately use in your final project. Highlight at least one threat to internal or external validity or reliability. Explore why this threat is problematic and how it could be remedied. Comment on the articles discussed by your classmates (below). Consider which validity threats are most common. Which are the most difficult to deal with?
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document (attached).
Please also respond to the following two students discussion posts in regards to this same topic. Please respond with a minimum of 1-2 paragraphs.
The article Critters in the Cube Farm: Perceived Psychological and Organizational Effects of Pets in the Workplace surveyed 31 companies that allowed pets in the work place to see if the 193 employees of those companies perceived psychological and organizational effects of the pets. The results from this 2001 studies showed that the most frequent report from this survey was employees thought pets (both cats and dogs) relieved stress.
There is one external validity threat this study touched on in the discussion of the paper: there were more small companies that took part in this study than large companies. This may be because small companies are more likely to take part in research studies or because small companies are more likely to allow pets. More examination may be needed to see how evenly distributed the pet allowance is in big workplaces. If it is found that pet allowance is mainly a small business thing, this may not be a problem. Another external validity threat the paper did not discuss is anyone who wants to take part in a pet-centric research study is (most likely) positively affected by pets anyway. If someone agrees to take part in a research study about pets, one would assume they like pets and, If they do, it could also be assumed they will report that they feel pets reduce their stress when they are around them. To try to reduce this threat, another research study could be conducted using the same idea but also collect information from a group who do not work with pets.
I think this last type of validity threat (dealing with people who want to be researched on the topic that is being researched) is common and hard to tackle. It must be hard for researchers to find participants who fit in to their hypothesis but aren’t over excited about the topic. Researchers want to find participants who want to take part in the research (because of course that is the ethical piece of research), but also don’t want to skew their data because of participants’ interests either.
Wells, M., & Perrine, R. (2001). Critters in the cube farm: Perceived psychological and organizational effects of pets in the workplace. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 6(1), 81-87. doi:10.1037//1076-89184.108.40.206
The article form Barber and Cucalon suggest that Sleep Treatment Education Program (STEP) has some beneficial aspects to improving sleep patterns. However, in reliability, one area that they failed to address concerns the reason for awaking during sleep (2017). They suggest that examples of healthy sleep hygiene practices consist of limiting the amount of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine consumption prior to sleep. The counter to this is of a personal source. My wife and I consume approximately the same amount of liquids and foods prior to sleep. Additionally, we ensure we eat around three hours or more prior to sleep as to guarantee our sleep pattern stays the same. Even though we consume the same items prior to sleep, she wakes up once or twice a night simply to use the restroom. We use our phones the same amount prior to sleep yet I experience far greater sleep quality than she does. Barber and Cucalon do not address the reason for awakenings for these factors.
The instrument used for the study appears to be reliable, even with some people reporting not using the device or having technical issues, that they address within the study. The main concern is the validity of the reported results. Thus, if the results suggest that someone slept greater yet used technology versus someone who woke more times and did not, then the validity of the results are not ideally accurate for the study. Simply knowing when someone was awake does not suggest this is a direct result of technology use prior to sleeping. This is an issue of internal validity according to Rosnow and Rosenthal, because it suggests a statement about one variable is the direct result of an outcome and this is broad for this case (2013). To remedy this threat, they must include some margin of error to awakenings that were not a direct result of technology usage. I am likely wrong but I feel biased selection can be a common threat to validity because the participants, as the name implies, must participate in the study with some incentive such as $50. Then, they should be unaware of the purpose of the study and not have emotions or opinions sway the outcome. Some of the difficult threats to overcome might include maturation and attrition because you may lose some of the participants or over time, they might change answers based on maturity (Rosnow, & Rosenthal, 2013).
Barber, L. K., & Cucalon, M. S. (2017). Modifying the Sleep Treatment Education Program for Students to include technology use (STEPS-TECH): Intervention effects on objective and subjective sleep outcomes. Stress & Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 33(5), 684–690. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s3h&AN=126685972&site=eds-live&scope=site
Rosnow, L. & Rosenthal, R. (2013). Beginning Behavioral Research: A Conceptual Primer (7th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.