Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Participate in a research study!

Received via email:

My name is Sruly Bomzer and I am a 5th year doctoral candidate in the CW Post Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. I am currently in the initial stages of collecting data for my dissertation, which involves examining common childhood experiences of Jews raised in the Orthodox tradition (regardless of current affiliation). This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of CW Post, and is being supervised by Jill Rathus, Ph.D. I am writing to you to request your help in disseminating the online survey that is my primary means of collecting data. The survey, available here (http://tinyurl.com/ODQStudy), is completely anonymous and takes no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. I have followed your blog and believe that your readership represents an ideal sample of participants. Because this project is not funded, I cannot offer you any compensation, however any effort you could spare to inform you readers of my study would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions regarding this research, feel free to contact me at srulystudy@gmail.com.

Thank You,

Sruly Bomzer


  1. We can add this survey to to other surveys of the Orthodox community that are methodologically flawed such as the survey of marital satisfaction and survey of sexual satisfaction. Not only are the responders self-selecting, he is targeting a particular group which is likely not a representative sample of those raised Orthodox.

    I really don't get it.

  2. MJ,

    If his methodology is approved by the IRB, then theoretically the data should be valid. Perhaps he has more than one method of reaching out, to balance the self-selection bias of reaching out to bloggers.

  3. this is a psychology study, not a sociology study- and the researcher seems to be doing some kind of study on correlates of religiosity, not trying to determine the exact percent of jews who keep kosher or something (in which case the methodology would be inappropriate).

    First of all, it would be impossible to get a representative sample of this population, as that would require random sampling of every single jewish person, and there's no way of identifying and locating them all. As researchers we often have to make trade offs like this one- answer the question with an imperfect sample, or not be able to answer it at all? Second of all, in psychological research the samples don't necessarily need to be representative because they assume that psychological processes are similar across humans. Whether or not that's a good assumption is a whole other story...

    Rabba- IRB actually doesn't approve methodology in terms of whether the study is valid or not, or whether the methods are the best way to answer the question or not, all they do is make sure you are not abusing human subjects with your research.

  4. At the end of the survey he mentions that he has not given full disclosure about the survey and that you can email him for full disclosure. I haven't heard back from him yet.


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