Stats Response post

Remembering that all research has some error, respond to at least one colleague’s post and comment on how we as social change agents and critical consumers of research can balance the usefulness with the error in the research. Do we throw the research out because of too much error, or is there something useful that it can tell us?Respond to the following post using APA format and at least one cite. The Logic of Inference

Summary of the Article

In their article, Santocchi, Guiducci, Fulceri, Billeci, Buzzigoli, Apicella, Calderoni, Grossi, Morales and Muratori (2016), executed a quantitative research to evaluate potential consequences derived from taking probiotic supplements on the phthalate urine concentration in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The researchers choose 100 preschool ASD patients and categorized them in GI or non-GI groups based on the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms (Santocchi et al. 2016). Half of each group were in placebo and the other half of each group were in probiotics, and each three months for two occasions they examined for autism symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, behavioral symptoms, neurophysiological signs and biomarkers for gastrointestinal issues in urine, feces and plasma (Santocchi et al. 2016).

Main Purpose of the Article

They performed a double-blind randomized controlled trial that measured among other things: inflammatory cytokines levels, leptin and resistin in urine and plasma with an ELISA Immunoassay Kit; phthalate concentrations with the Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry technique and brain function with a Quantitative Electroencephalography (Santocchi et al. 2016). The article is directed to help the ASD patients have a better quality of life and by identifying potential benefits or risks of a commonly recommended supplements for those patients. Therefore, this study assess the different implications for ASD patients to take probiotics as supplements.

Independent and Dependent Variables

One of the ultimate goals in research is to identify a cause-effect relationship among variables (Frankfort-Nachmias & Leon-Guerrero, 2015). The independent variable is manageable and it’s the one that may or may not have effect in the dependent variable (Frankfort-Nachmias & Leon-Guerrero, 2015). In the other hand, the dependent variable is the result’s measures that enlighten the researcher to see if the independent variable exerts effect or not (Frankfort-Nachmias & Leon-Guerrero, 2015). Santocchi et al. (2016), choose probiotic supplements as the independent variable, they either administered probiotics or a placebo. In their study, they wanted to see the effects of the independent variable, the probiotics, on different physiological aspects which is the dependent variable. The main dependent variable measure was the phthalate concentrations in urine, but they measured other variables such as behavioral symptoms and gastrointestinal symptoms as part of the dependent variables.

The equation for their research is the following:

GI symptoms, Behavioral Symptoms, Autism

Symptoms, Neurophysiological Factors, = ƒ (probiotic supplement) + Errors

Biomarkers for GI symptoms

Potential Errors in the Research

One of the major problems with the research in question is that the study is too broad, their model intends to include several variables such as behavioral symptoms, neurophysiological signs, among others in the same equation. There are too many factors in the dependent variable to be taken into consideration and they are implying that all those signs and symptoms can be affected by the probiotic supplements. In addition, selection error might be present because they selected the participants from a very narrow area and all of them were in preschool, thereby the sample is not representative of the population. Furthermore, with the presence of the placebo, the response bias can be present as people know about the possibility of getting the treatment.


Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Leon-Guerrero, A. (2015). Social statistics for a diverse society (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Santocchi, E., Guiducci, L., Fulceri, F., Billeci, L., Buzzigoli, E., Apicella, F., Calderoni, S., Grossi, E, Morales, M. A, & Muratori F. (2016). Gut to Brain Interaction in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Role of Probiotics on Clinical, Biochemical and Neurophysiological Parameters. BMC Psychiatry, 16(183). doi: 10.1186/s12888-016-0887-5