Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dec 13 - Threats to Validity: What You Should Know to Interpret Research Findings, Fran Featherston, Ph.D.

Fran Featherston, Ph.D.

Our lives are full of findings from  research results. Not all of the claims  they make are valid. Some studies use  samples that are not representative.   Other studies make claims when they have no comparison group. The question  wording or even question order can bias  survey results.  How do you know when  you can trust the research claims?  What do you need to look for?

This talk will give you tips to judge the research you read. We look at examples from the current news and discuss what you need to know to judge whether the research finding can be trusted. We will discuss the threats to validity for each study and whether the research meets the standard of reproducibility. That is, could another researcher possibly reproduce this finding?

Fran Featherston is retired from the U.S. federal government where she worked 27 years as a researcher at the National Science Foundation (10 years) and the Governmental Accountability Office (17 years). Her areas of expertise are survey research, research design, and designing methods that are user friendly. She also worked for the State of Washington’s court systems so that she has experienced the challenges of designing high quality research for all three branches of the government.

Dec 13, 2014 1:30 pm 
National Science Foundation, Room 110
4201 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA (Ballston-MU Metro stop)
Enter NSF from the corner of 9th St. N & N. Stuart Streets.
[map] [directions]

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members. Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

For more information: 
- Email
- Call the 24-hour Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227)