Journalism in popular media is sometimes based on scientific psychological research, but just because it quotes research is it in fact a true representation of the researcher’s data and conclusions? In this essay, both the journal and journalism copy of the research is investigated and reviewed to determine the validity of the journalism claims.
Summary of Journalism Story
An article by Ana Swanson, the disturbing thing scientists learned when they bribed babies with graham crackers, appeared in the on-line version of the Washington Post in April of 2016. Swanson’s article referenced several psychological research studies with the focus of her article landing on the research undertaken by Tasimi and Wynn at Yale University here in the United States. Swanson wrote “Humans appear to have a strong and innate sense of fairness” (Swanson, 2016) The study that Swanson referenced consisted of two parts.
Children aged five to eight years of age participated in the first experiment to determine their preference of adults giving them toys. Participants chose rewards from adults based on their name, the number of stickers each adult gave, and the moral behavior of the adult. The experiment measured the influence of the moral behavior of the adult on the child’s choice of reward. Swanson also referenced the second part of the Yale research dealing with infants aged approximately twelve months. While measuring the same influences as the first part of the experiment the process used differed due to the age of the children. This experiment used puppets and graham crackers with the infants and captured their reactions to the good and bad puppets.
Swanson summarized the research by writing, “the general results suggest peo...
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...e reader would be able to understand. While some of the terminology like bribe and disturbing things that appeared in the title and throughout conveyed strong emotions of the study, the basic descriptions were in accordance with the research article.
The area of most concern was the conclusion that this study would be for the general population or external validation broaden the conclusions mentioned in the research article. Swanson concluded that “people are willing” to give up rewards from wrongdoers only to a certain level, thus claiming that the research covers all humans. The participants in the research are from a very narrow geographic and economic space. Broader geographic studies similar in nature is required for external validation.
Overall the journalism story covered the journal article well and authors focused in the same areas of data and description.
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