If you observe a typical classroom of first graders, you will probably notice a few children who are more active than others.

If you observe a typical classroom of first graders, you will probably notice a few children who are more active than others. While most children focus on schoolwork, the overly active children may appear restless, squirm in their seat, tap their pencil loudly, and fidget with their hands and feet. Two researchers had the same question: Why are some children more active than others in the classroom? Is the amount of sugar in the diet a contributing factor? To answer the question the first researcher, Dr. Madison, asked parents of first grade students to keep a diary of food intake for a week. The same children were then observed in the classroom and rated on activity level. Dr. Madison found a statistically significant correlation of .6 between sugar intake and activity level. The second researcher, Dr. Johnson, approached the question in a different way. She gathered first grade students from local schools and brought them to her laboratory. Dr. Johnson randomly assigned the children to one of two groups – one group was given a sugary snack and the second group was given a non-sugary snack. She then observed all children in a mock classroom setting and each child was rated on activity level. Dr. Johnson found no significant difference in activity level between the two groups. Your job is to decide what to tell parents about giving children sugary snacks. Based on the two different studies, what would you recommend? Be sure to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each research approach to justify your decision. 

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