Inferential Statistics Article Critique
The article focuses its attention on the smoking behaviors of the sedentary smokers in relation to the smoking behaviors of the physically active smokers. This critique review evaluates the article with an aim of pointing out its strong and weak points. The review argues that the article is well-written, but it has a few weaknesses that should be strengthened.
The article’s hypothesis states that: “after the body image manipulation, sedentary smokers would demonstrate greater self-reported urge to smoke and a shorter latency to first puff on a posttest cigarette compared with physically active smokers” (Nair, Collins, & Napolitano, 2013 p. 232). Although the null hypothesis is stated clearly, there is no direct research question being evaluated in the article. This weakens the study and the article. In order to strengthen the article, the authors should have included a research question(s). This would simplify the process of evaluating whether the study has achieved its objective(s) or not. The way the article is structured leaves the person reading the article to determine the research question(s). This is not the right way to go. As a result, it should be rectified.
One of the main concepts applied throughout the article is that physical activities are used to manage weight concerns. Based on this understanding, physical activities are used to reduce nicotine urge together with other withdrawal symptoms during smoking cessation (Nair, Collins, & Napolitano, 2013). Another concept applied throughout the article is that perception towards one’s body image and weight contributes significantly to smoking practices among females. As a result, research participants’ perception towards their body images and weight concerns is used to determine whether research participants would smoke more or smoke less.
The statistical test (paired sample t test) used to measure the mean difference between the two groups of research participants is the right one because of the following two reasons. First, the focus of the study is on two groups of people. One group comprises of the physically active research participants whereas the other group comprises of the sedentary research participants. Second, the study focuses its attention on paired samples. One sample is concerned with pre- results for the two groups of research participants whereas the other sample is concerned with their post- results. This test is the right one for determining the mean difference between the two groups in relation to body image (Yeong, 2014). On the other hand, the statistical test (partial correlation test) used to measure the degree of association among various variables of the study is the right one as well. ANCOVA test too is also the right statistical test for analyzing pretest and posttest results between the two groups of research participants.
Largely, the proper steps of testing hypothesis have been followed. These steps included stating the hypothesis, selecting the right test statistic and the level of significance together with the test(s), determining the decision rule, collecting the data and computing the test statistics and finally making decision. Although some of the steps are not outright from the article, it is clear that they were conducted in the right way. However, to strengthen the article it would be important to specify these steps (Yeong, 2014). This would help a person reading the article to follow it easily.
The results of the study are well laid out in tables and in graphs. They are also organized according to the areas that were evaluated in the study. Interpretation of these results is also laid out clearly in discussion chapter. It is particularly conducted in relation to the current knowledge. The limitations of the study are also outlined clearly. For example, the authors of the article states clearly that the results of their study should not be generalized to heterogeneous populations because majority of the research participants are Caucasian. They also acknowledge the fact that the sample of their study is too small (Nair, Collins, & Napolitano, 2013). Besides doing all these, they have pointed the areas that future studies should evaluate. In spite of this fact, the authors could have done a few things to strengthen their study and article. First, they should have included control groups in their study to enhance the reliability of their findings (Harris, 2014). Second, they should have recruited research participants from different ethnic groups so that the results of their study could be generalized to heterogeneous populations.
This article critique argues that the article is well written, but a few things should be done to strengthen it. With regard to strengths, the article critique acknowledges the fact that there is a clear hypothesis being tested. It also acknowledges the fact that the results of the study are well laid out in tables and graphs, and interpreted in the right way. Furthermore, it acknowledges the fact that the right statistical tests are used to analyze the outcomes of the study. However, the following needs to be done to strengthen the article. First, the article should have a clear research question(s) to guide the readers. Second, the article should specify some of the steps that were followed to test the null hypothesis. Third, the sample of the study should include research participants from other ethnic groups to enhance the generalization of its findings to heterogeneous populations. Fourth, the study should include control groups to enhance the reliability of its findings.
Harris, S. R. (2014). How to critique journal articles in social science. Los Angeles: Sage.
Nair, U. S., Collins, B N., & Napolitano, M. A. (2013). Differential effects of a body image exposure session on smoking urge between physically active and sedentary female smoker. Psychology of Additive Behaviors: Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Additive Behaviors, 27(1), 322-327.
Yeong, F. M. (2014). How to read and critique a scientific research article: Notes to guide students reading primary literature (with teaching tips for faculty members).Singapore: World scientific.