First 493 words of the document:
`Outline and evaluate the role of peer review in the process of producing valid
scientific data' (12 marks)
`Peer review' is the assessment of scientific work by individuals from different
walks of life who are experts in the same field. Peer review in conducted in a
critical way in order to find any ethical issues and mistakes. It is also done to
improve the quality of research reporting and to prevent poor research from
taking place, it also stops inaccurate or false research from going into the public
domain. An example of falsified research is one done by Cyril Burt's research on
the link between genetics and intelligence; according to Burt, a significant link
was found between the two, however, this was later found to be untrue as Burt's
works had been falsified. However, as the research had already been published, it
affected the way in which the education system operated. If Burt's work had
been peer reviewed, it may not have been published and because of this reason,
peer review is needed in order to ensure that research is valid.
However, Bordens and Abbot (2008) argue that peer review could prevent
potentially revolutionary research from being published and claim that science is
conservative bias may be shown by the reviewers as they may be subjective in
their opinions, and therefore peer review cannot produce valid scientific data.
Gender bias may also be shown by the reviewer as they may favour males and so
allow the research of males to be published even if it does not pass regulations.
Some reviewers may be overly harsh whilst reviewing research and this could
prevent `good' research from being published. Due to these reasons, peer review
is seen in a negative light and should not be used to review research.
Some psychologists argue that the process of peer review is not anonymous
even though it should be; this is because the researcher may be well known to the
reviewers and this could cause some form of bias which would then affect the
way in which the work is reviewed. This could result in `bad' research `slipping
through' and being published into the public domain. Due to this reason, some
psychologists argue that the process of peer review should not be used to
However, many psychologists argue that peer review should be used to assess
work as it ensures that there are no ethical issues which could potentially harm
Humans or Animals. Peer review also ensures that work has not been plagiarized
and guarantees that all research which is published is the researcher's own work.
Due to these reasons, many psychologists agree that peer review should be used
in the process of producing valid scientific data.