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Critiquing Erin Brockovich

Discuss Survey Research

A survey research entails the use of samples to make didactic conclusions about large populations of organisms. Many scholars often use this research method in analyzing the popularity of candidates in political campaigns. Good surveys usually require the researchers to formulate the research questions before embarking on the research. The researcher must ensure that his questions are fair since objective questions usually yield results that correctly represent the entire population.

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Methodology Used by the Characters

The main character in the film, Erin Brockovich, collects data using personal surveys. She interviews other characters about their illnesses and the company’s role in their medication. She also visits Donna and interviews her about her illness. Apart from Donna, she interviews other former and current employees of the PG&E Company. The data she collects convinces her that the company was responsible for the rampant illnesses among its employees.

Brockovich’s Needs Assessment

Needs assessment entails noticing a problem and confirming it through further analysis (Houser, 2015). In the film, Brockovich realizes that many of the current and former employees of the PG&E Company suffer from strange diseases, mostly brain tumors. She interviews several former and current employees of PG&E and concludes that the company knows about the cause of the illness. A detailed investigation reveals that the hexavalent chromium the company emits is responsible for the illnesses. Consequently, she convinces the victims to sue PG&E. Eventually; the company compensates the victims with some good amount of money (Táquez, 2009).

Needs Assessment About the Prevalence, Distribution, and Interrelations of Variables

Brockovich’s interaction with Donna makes her suspicious that many are suffering from the same problem. Donna suffers from a brain tumor while her husband suffers from the Hodgkin disease. She decides to determine the prevalence of the problems caused by the hexavalent chromium through conducting interviews. She concludes that many people are suffering from these problems.

She interviews other people apart from Donna and realizes that the hexavalent chromium has contaminated water over a very large area. Her discussions with the people also help her realize that the company had paid for the medication of very many employees.

She realizes that the company’s decision to cater for the medication of its employees was not genuine but a defense mechanism. She relates the free medication to the increased illness among the people of Hinckley. In the end, she concludes that the company knows that the hexavalent chromium it emits is responsible for the illnesses among employees and former employees.

Ethical Implications of Brockovich’s Actions

The first ethical implication of Brockovich’s actions is the awareness of the participants. In any research, all the participants must be conversant with all the facts of the research. They must also know the parts they play in the research. Brockovich informs her participants about the probability of the contamination of their water. She even asks them to go to court with her.

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The other implication is the welfare of the participants. The research should benefit all the participants and not only the researcher (American Psychological Association, 2010). Brockovich’s research is about ending the illnesses emanating from the contamination of water. In addition, she gives the money she gets from the suit to the victims. She does not hide anything.

Other than just being aware of the research and the parts they play in the research, the participants also need to give their consent before the researcher drafts them into her study (Institute of Medicine, 2010). In the movie, Brockovich asks for Donna’s consent before she progresses with her investigations.

References

American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Web.

Houser, J. (2015). Nursing research: Reading, using, and creating evidence. (3rd ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.

Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading the change, advancing health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Táquez, H. (2009). Erin Brockovich. Web.

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