Practice Materials Part 2

These tasks are focused on journal articles. Work through them to help test your reading and comprehension skills.

Journal 1: Abstract

Read the abstract of the article whose title is below, and answer the questions that follow.

Effects of graphic presentation on understanding medical risks and benefits among Japanese adults

Hitomi Danya, Yuki Yonekura & Kazuhiro Nakayama

The purpose of this study was to identify the method of presentation (text, bar graphs, or pictographs) that best enhances the understanding of medical risk information among Japanese adults. We also investigated the effect of graphic format on understanding by differences in numeracy. This is the first study conducted in Japan to clarify understanding the risks and benefits of treatment. Participants were randomized to receive numerical information about the risks and benefits of a hypothetical medical treatment in one of three formats: text, bar graphs, or pictographs. The main outcome variables were adequate verbatim and adequate gist understanding. In total, 1062 individuals (text, 354; bar graphs, 358; and pictographs 350) were included in the analysis. Pictographs and bar graphs did not show significant differences from text in conferring verbatim information. However, pictographs significantly differed from text in conferring gist information (odds ratio [OR] 1.567, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.097–2.237), but bar graphs did not significantly differ from text (OR 1.390, 95%CI 0.983–1.964). Numeracy was the factor most strongly associated with adequate verbatim and gist understanding. Our results suggest that although pictographs appear to be an effective option, their effectiveness is limited to people with higher numeracy and people with lower numeracy may have little benefit from pictographs.

Cogent Medicine Vol 8 Issue 1

a) What did the study aim to do?

b) In what way was this study original?

c) Which three formats were compared?

d) What was the ability that most helped people understand the information?

e) What were the limitations of pictographs?

f) Can you suggest anything that could be added to this abstract?

a) Examine the best method of explaining medical risk to adults in Japan

b) It was the first Japanese study to examine ways to explain the risks of treatment

c) Text, bar graph, pictograph

d) Numeracy

e) They gave little help to people with low numeracy

f) No mention of possible limitations to the research

Journal 2: Introductions

Read the extract from the introduction to the article below and answer the question that follow.

The effect of consumer ethnocentrism on the acceptance of imported grocery products in Harare, Zimbabwe

Charity Muchandiona, Nicholas Z. Kakava & Charles Makanyeza

Several studies have been conducted on consumer ethnocentrism in both developed and developing countries (Balabanis & Siamagka, 2017; Casado-Aranda et al., 2020; Karoui & Khemakhem, 2019; Maison & Maliszewski, 2016; Makanyeza & du Toit, 2017; C. Pentz et al., 2017; Shimp & Sharma, 1987; Vuong and Khanh Giao 2020). However, the study of consumer ethnocentrism in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is still in its infancy. There are relatively few studies that have focused on consumer ethnocentrism and its influence on consumer behaviour. More so, these few studies that have been conducted in the SADC region have recommended that further studies on consumer ethnocentrism be conducted in this region to have a better understanding of this concept (C. D. Pentz et al., 2014; John & Brady, 2011a2011b; Makanyeza & du Toit, 2017). The main reasons for calls for further consumer ethnocentrism studies include the fact that consumer ethnocentrism varies from country to country and over time. It also varies with the product category. Consumer ethnocentrism cannot be generalised across product categories and from country to country. Consumer tastes and preferences need constant monitoring since they tend to change over time and consumers are dynamic (Akbarov, 2021).

Cogent Business and Management Vol. 8 issue 1

1. This extract from the introduction has two main functions. What are they?



2. What else might be expected in an introduction, in addition to these?

1. a) To summarise some of the previous research on consumer ethnocentrism.

b) To explain the reasons for conducting more research in the region.

2. A definition of terms i.e. ‘consumer ethnocentrism’.

Journal 3: Methodology

Read the extract from the methodology section of the article below and answer the questions that follow.

Analysis and study of hospital communication via social media from the patient perspective

Carlos De Las Heras-Pedrosa,Dolores Rando-Cueto,Carmen Jambrino-Maldonado & Francisco Javier Paniagua-Rojano

We conducted a systematic review of international scientific literature focused on the impact of social communication media and, in particular, of social media on patients and their relatives. The carrying out of this study necessitates a mixed-method approach, the novelty of the analyzed field and the research questions raised require this type of method due to their complex nature (Creswell, 2013; Jick, 1979).

Firstly, a focus group meeting was held with representatives of patient and relative associations in order to focus the study on health system users, as citizens with knowledge of pathological processes and care received from health care institutions, given their first-person experience. The choice of this methodological technique was crucial in discovering the “attitudes and motivations” (Lunt & Livingstone, 1996, pp. 79–80) of the users and testing their understanding of hospital communication in social networks, along with collecting their opinions on improving it. In turn, the participants were offered an opportunity to learn together by sharing their experiences (Lunt & Livingstone, 1996, p. 84).

Citizens’ appraisal of the communication on social media initiated by health care institutions and their contribution to improving them can be used to outline proposals intended to improve the quality of life and well-being of society, despite the fact that those two concepts are heavily subjective in the case of the group being studied. As Fielding (2014, p. 1067) points out, “we are in a world where people die at home alone for lack of friends, family, or neighbours […], but where a moment’s loss of connectivity is an affront to our sense of well-being.”

The staff of the Citizen Participation Unit at Malaga Regional University Hospital, one of the hospitals with the highest health care activity in Andalusia (Spain), helped to organize the focus group meeting.

Twenty-nine associations out of the ninety that Citizen Participation has registered in its database were invited by email to take part in the study. The selection was made based on the number of national, regional, and provincial members of each association. It involved groups that included other entities, such as the Malaga Accessible Development Group (an entity consisting of eighty associations and whose activity is related to various pathologies). The focus group meeting was conducted on hospital premises.

Cogent Social Sciences Vol 6 2020 issue 1

a) What was the researchers’ preliminary activity?

b) Why did they hold a focus group meeting?

c) Which authority/ source helped them design their approach?

d) What did the researchers hope to achieve?

a) A review of the literature on the topic.

b) To focus their research on users of the health care system.

c) Lunt and Livingstone (1996).

d) To develop proposals to improve communication and hence the quality of life and societal well-being.

Journal 4: Discussion

Read the extract from the Discussion section of this article and answer the questions that follow.

Effect of prolonged continuous smartphone gaming on upper body postures and fatigue of the neck muscles in school students aged between 10-18 years

Panida Hanphitakphong, Nuanlaor Thawinchai, Somruthai Poomsalood

The present study aimed to investigate the effect of prolonged continuous smartphone gaming on upper body postures and fatigue of the neck muscles in school students. The results indicated that angles of neck, trunk, left shoulder, and bilateral elbows flexion significantly increased at 10 and 20 minutes (p < 0.05) in comparison with angles of participants at the baseline. However, no significant difference was identified in the right shoulder over time. Regarding muscle fatigue, bilateral CES muscles showed significantly increased degree of fatigue at 20 minutes (p < 0.05) as compared to baseline. There was no significant difference in the UT muscle on both sides. Additionally, pain intensity in the neck region showed a significant increase after 20-minute playing smartphone game (p < 0.05).

According to the results obtained, these findings are in line with the previous findings that longer periods of smartphone use may result in poor posture and lead to progressive muscle overload in posterior neck. Obviously, increased neck muscle fatigue and pain which could result from continuous static pressure on specific sites were also present at the end of the game. A previous study in young adults found significant fatigue of the UT and CES muscles after 20 and 30 minutes of smartphone usage, respectively (S. Y. Kim & Koo, 2016). Remarkably, fatigue of the CES muscle in the current study occurred sooner than the previous one. In principle, when the head is not in the neutral posture, the weight on the spine dramatically increases with an increase in neck flexion ranging from 10 to 60 pounds at 0 degree to 60 degrees, respectively. An adult’s neck can typically handle approximately 10 to 12 pounds of force in the neutral position (Hansraj, 2014). Fundamentally, children’s heads are larger in relation to their body sizes than adults (Armstrong & van Mechelen, 2008). To resist the greater external neck flexion moment while looking at a smartphone, the extensor muscles are activated to maintain balance of the neck, thereby increasing the load placed on the CES and the trapezius muscles (Xie et al., 2017; Eitivipart et al., 2018; Namwongsa et al., 2019). Based on our results, it was possible that the neck extensor muscles in children would work harder than in adults while looking down at the device since they have a greater head-to-body ratio. In addition, muscle fiber size is lower in children than in adults. When children maintained their head forward flexion posture for a long period of time, they had earlier onset of fatigue than adult. Also, the participants in our study might exhibit more neck flexion than the participants in the previous study. However, neck posture was not determined in the previous study (S. Y. Kim & Koo, 2016).

Cogent Engineering Vol 8 2021 Issue 1

a) What is the purpose of the first paragraph of the Discussion section?

b) According to the second paragraph, how do the findings of this study compare to earlier research?

c) Does this research find any differences with earlier research?

d) What implications would you expect the researchers to draw from this study?

a) To summarise the aim and findings of the study.

b) They support previous findings that lengthy smartphone use results in poor posture.

c) They found that muscle fatigue happened sooner than previously thought.

d) They might suggest that smartphone use should be limited to short periods.

Journal 5: Conclusion

Read the extract from the conclusion to the article below and answer the questions that follow.

Investigating demotivating factors in foreign language learners: The case of non-Iranian Persian language learners

Amireza Vakilifard, Saman Ebadi, Mahmood Zamani & Bahador Sadeghi

The findings point to statistically significant differences between males and females with regard to the factors of The Teacher (p < .000), Experience of Failure (p < .000), and Attitude towards Foreign Language Learning (p < .000). The findings imply that male learners were more demotivated than female learners with respect to the factors of the Teacher and Attitude towards Foreign Language Learning while female learners were more demotivated in Experience of Failure. This contradicts the results of Muhonen (2004) in which the comparison of demotivating factors among the males and the females revealed only slight differences. Thus, the first null hypothesis which states that there is no relation between learners’ gender in terms of demotivating factors was rejected.

The findings also point to statistically significant differences in “Learning Contents, Materials, and Facilities”, “Experience of Failure”, “Attitude towards Foreign Language Learning”, “The Teacher” and “Attitude towards Persian Speaking community” across the three level of education. Therefore, the second null hypothesis which states that there is no relation between learners’ level of education in terms of demotivating factors was rejected.

The findings of this study are likely to help teachers of Persian language teaching centers for non-Iranian students, and Persian language departments at different universities by familiarizing them to language learners’ demotivating factors. Addressing these demotivating factors and finding out about the underlying reasons will result in learners’ better performance in learning Persian.

Cogent Education Vol.7 (2020) Issue 1

a) What differences between male and female students were found?

b) Do the results of this study support the findings of previous research?

c) What information is missing from the results presented in the second paragraph?

d) What are the implications of the study for teachers of Persian in universities?

a) Male students were more demotivated by some teachers and attitudes to language learning, while females were more affected by the experience of failure.

b) The research contradicts some previous research, for example Muhonen (2004), which had found no differences between genders.

c) It is not explained how the learners’ educational level affects their attitude to language learning.

d) By understanding patterns of demotivation teachers should be able to improve student attitudes and performance.

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