When teaching psychology and health I have found that a top evaluation issue that students can really get their teeth into and discuss well in part B essays is the issue of correlation and causality (or more accurately lack of causality).
Because of the practical and ethical problems of studying health and illness this tricky little number occurs very frequently.
I give small groups of students an example of a correlational analysis to evaluate so that they can work out for themselves the issue of lack of causality and then ask them to present their findings back to the rest of the class. All of these examples are easy to print â€“ and if you have any other (better) examples please leave a comment.
Here are the examples that I use:
- A study investigating the correlation between tooth loss and heart disease
- A study investigating the correlation between nightshifts and breast cancer
- A study investigating the correlation between shaving habits and stroke risks
- A study investigating the correlation between watching the telly and autism
It is very empowering for the students to rip apart this scientific research and I think it gives them the strength to do the same to the material they are learning for this unit. I would love to hear of any other examples of correlations that teachers use â€“ even any anecdotal ones such as the correlation between ice cream sales and deaths from drowning.