Saturday, March 25, 2017

Week 8: Vassoler and Holly

Out of these two articles I definitely preferred one of them over the other. To me, the Vassoler article seemed more complete and let me with significantly less questions than the Holly paper. The biggest question I came across with the Holly paper had to do with one of their results, or more the handling of data that lad to these results. In particular, the author writes “although there were no significant interactions [between sex and stress], post hoc analyses were performed based on the prior hypothesis that sex and stress differences would exist in binge duration.” Now I’m not sure if this is something that is done a lot in the research community or not, but it sounds a lot like they’re saying their experiments showed one effect but they aren’t going to take that into consideration and instead are going to use data that is hypothesized to be true. This almost sounds like the opposite of the purpose of doing research. If you want to find out what’s going on then you need to take all you experimental results into consideration. Not only do they say this, but they also do give a reasoning or explain at all why it is they saw a lack in interaction in the first place. I feel like this small piece was a big red flag for me and stopped me from taking the rest of the paper seriously. Again, I don’t know if this is common with the research field or not, but it just seems very odd that they would completely discount some results they observed.

I also think that this paper could of done a better job at investigating the differences in male and female social stress. They mention briefly that male and female aggression is displayed different from one another, but what if females are more stressed from different types of failed social interactions rather than just aggression? I think these researchers would need to prove, or offer evidence towards the fact that males and females are stressed equally with the same type of social defeat.

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