Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Boy Named Sue" and disruption study: Flaws I found

I'm back again critiquing another name-related study I suspect may be biased and/or flawed. The study at this link supposedly finds that boys with "feminine" names are more likely to be disruptive or perform worse academically once they hit a certain grade. Here's some issues I found with how it was done:

1. The study was limited to one school district (the district wasn't specified). Why weren't multiple school districts across the country with varying racial and socioeconomic compositions studied?

2. Only students in grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 were studied. What would the results at higher grades be (such as once these kids reach high school)?

3. The grade organization between levels of schools varies between school districts. What would the results be for a district where middle school or junior high starts with grade 7? What about a school district in which elementary school goes through grade 8?

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