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Chew on this -- what to look for in research

By John Published: February 27, 2010

On Friday at the Education Writers Association research and statistics bootcamp in Phoenix, we heard from Neal Finkelstein and Andrea Lash from WestEd, who talked to us about how to evaluate education research. In the example below, Andrea Lash talks about a study showing that chewing gum increased student performance on a standardized math test. The study was sponsored by the Wrigley Science Institute, which could raise a red flag about experimenter bias. But in this case, the research appeared to be solid, even if it was paid for by a chewing gum manufacturer. Lash said she was uneasy, however, with the Wrigley Science Institute's description of itself, which assumes chewing gum has benefits:

The Wrigley Science Institute (WSI) is the first organization of its kind committed to advancing and sharing scientific research that explores the benefits of chewing gum.


Video by Akron Beacon Journal education reporter John Higgins



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