We live in an age of unprecedented access to information. The last decade has seen an exponential growth in data and material available, often at the touch of a button. However, this has also made it harder to discern between fact and fiction. What is real and what is fake? What should we believe and what should we reject?
In an environment of information overload, a distrust of experts, the circulation of misinformation and false facts, and public debates based upon poor evidence, Thinking Critically About Research comes at a vital juncture. The book is designed to help readers develop a critical understanding of evidence and the ways in which evidence is presented, and to challenge the information they receive in both academic and non-academic sources. The author presents a step-by-step approach with a focus on knowing methods, culminating in a bespoke ‘critical tool kit’ which offers a practical checklist designed to be used when carrying out research.
Also containing learning features including tasks and worked examples, drawing on real research studies, this is an essential resource for students and researchers, and those putting research into practice, who want to have better critical thinking skills.
Table of Contents
Overview: setting the scene for critical thinking
CH 1: Why do we need to be critical? The problem of information overload
Step 1: KNOWING METHODS
Ch2: Knowing the basics
Ch3: Knowing design
Ch 4: Knowing measurement
Ch 5: Knowing theory
Step 2: THINKING critically about methods: what evidence is there?
Ch 6: About the basics
Ch 7: About design
Ch 8: About measurement
Ch 9: About theory
Step 3: Thinking critically about research: how is it presented?
Ch 10: The role of language and persuasive strategies
Step 4: Putting it together
Ch 11: Putting it together: the critical tool kit
Ch 12: Being extra critical
Ch 13: Some myths and Facts to practice thinking critically
Jane Ogden is a Professor in Health Psychology at the University of Surrey where she teaches psychology, nutrition, dietician, vet and medical students to think critically about research. She has published over 190 papers and 8 books.