Watch and learn! Access author selected videos that will help bring key concepts and theories to life, preparing you for your studies/exams/placements.
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A history of human experimentation
As you’ve likely heard, experimentation in humans has met with all sorts of obstacles. One major problem is that historically, experimentation was not done with participant consent or even knowledge. No question, experimentation in humans has advanced our health, but it has to be done properly to protect all citizens. In this excellent SciShow video clip we learn of some of only a few of the many occasions when human rights were abridged.
Biases, correlation and causality
There are all sorts of difficulties that can be encountered in research. Confounded variables, statistical errors and demand characteristics (participants trying to do what they think the experimenter would like to observe). One of the most common problems encountered concerns biases not being considered adequately, and the second is mistaking correlation for causality. Check out this brief Dnews video covering this topic as well as superstitious behavior that can evolve.
What’s a model?
The term ‘model’ has many meaning, but in the context of research we usually think of a model as a conceptual tool that is used so that we can make predictions from one situation to another (e.g., generalizing from animal to human conditions). There are rules about developing and using models, and the videos here (all from Risk Bites) describe the appropriate and inappropriate use of models.
The measurement conundrum
If I can detect an environmental toxicant or a toxin present in the body does that mean it’s more dangerous than when they’re undetectable? The next two videos describe the conundrum, which has become evermore relevant given the development of increasingly sensitive detection method. It’s fine to have more sensitive detection methods, but when does it tell us more, and when do low levels of certain agents mean little to our well-being, but cause a stir?
A rose by any other name…
Placebo treatments can be very powerful although they vary across individuals and can likewise be influenced by the nature of the placebo treatment. Many of the regular drugs we take have their efficacy enhanced by the placebo component attributable to a placebo effect. These placebo effects, to a considerable effect, come about owing to the expectancies held regarding the treatment, together with the brain changes that go along with the expectancies. This brief clip from Mental_floss will give a great look inside the placebo effect.