Good Example Of Following The American Psychological Association’s Guidelines Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Vaccination, Family, Autism, Students, Parents, Children, Mistakes, Drugs

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/03/31

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Article Analysis

Article Analysis
Analyzing an article while reading it is a good habit to get into. It helps the reader understand the material, as well as the author. If there is a bias, or if the article is trustworthy, the reader may have a better idea if they analyze as they read. Two articles concerning drug testing high school students and vaccinations showed biased inclinations, as well as an appeal to scare tactics. It would be easy for many readers to believe the material in either of these articles. However, upon deep, and even brief, analysis, it is easy to see there are many errors in both articles that carry great psychological implications, making them implausible and unbelievable.
Articles such as those by Lithwick and O’Meara should offer facts and evidence. The authors of these articles do that, but they also offer a fair amount of opinion, disallowing any of the facts to be heard over the rabble of their own voices. Dalia Lithwick’s, “Urinalysis,” is fraught with sarcasm and disdain for the decision of the courts . The article is full of facts, but they are all biased in favor of Lithwick’s views. It is an opinion piece that denotes Lithwick’s ideals, something she fails to do correctly, as her logic eventually cancels itself out by the end of the article. Patricia Kelly O’Meara’s, “Vaccines May Fuel the Autism Epidemic,” is slightly more subtle about the author’s opinion . O’Meara remains less outspoken throughout the piece than Lithwick, using the data of others to voice that vaccines probably are the cause of the increase in autism in children in recent years. However, because she never says this herself, and titled the article cleverly with the word may, she manages to remain seemingly ambivalent to the issue. Throughout the piece, no opposing evidence is presented though, making it easy to see which side is favorable to the author.
The articles were full of errors. To begin, Lithwick manages to state high schools are to prepare students for the real world, but in the same paragraph demands they not be randomly drug tested, much like adults are for jobs. Furthermore, Lithwick states students “targeted” for drug tests would be those attempting to take up extracurricular activities, such as band, sports, or a science fair . These activities, one might assume, are akin to an adult taking on a job, which would continue to prepare the student for the real world. Lithwick also, among other mistakes, manages to take the reader through several legal cases, including Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives’ Association. The case, which was won, demanded railway employees submit to drug tests, random or otherwise, to ensure the safety of the public, something Lithwick passes off as luxury the people do not need.
O’Meara also made several mistakes throughout her article. To begin with, several times throughout the article it is implied, if not plainly stated, that vaccines or specific ingredients in vaccines are to blame for autism. This is not true. It has never been true. It has been proven there is no link between vaccinations and autism. In one instance, the author uses a source that states parents can be safe about their child’s future and avoid vaccines, or take the vaccine, inject their child with a dangerous amount of mercury and “see what happens .” This is a dangerous appeal to ethos, logos, and pathos. The information came from a trusted source, giving it credibility. It regards the parents’ emotional attachment to their child’s future and well-being. Moreover, the information sounds logical: mercury causes autism, mercury is in vaccinations, do not give your child vaccinations or they will get autism. Finally, O’Meara states at one point, “it still is difficult for parents and physicians to be sure that the pharmaceutical companies have indeed removed the toxic substance from their vaccines.” The fact, shared here, also simply is not true. It appeals to impracticality and falsifies a doctor’s professionalism, as any doctor or pharmacist it able to look up what is in a vaccine. It is a scare tactic used to ensure parents do not trust medical professionals, but rather place their faith in individuals who are against vaccinations.
The implications of the errors may seem meaningless, but on a psychological level, they can be profound. For example, Lithwick’s simultaneous comparison and separation of high school students and adults prevents the students from proper integration, and may lead to adjustment issues. Adults are randomly tested for drugs through urinalysis, and to test students should not be a big deal. Protecting them, or dividing them farther from adults while insisting they are being groomed to become an adult is detrimental to the adolescent’s development. Her further use of logic involving legal cases and the assumed idiocy surrounding the safety of the public may cause students to continue entertaining personal fables. While Lithwick’s mistakes are psychologically damaging, the errors in O’Meara’s article carry heavier implications. Though O’Meara was not as outspoken about her opinion regarding vaccinations, she used expert testimony to back up her ideas. All of her data, though convincing, is false. Vaccinations do not cause autism. Parents do not need to, “See what happens,” when taking the chance on a vaccination . In addition, doctors and pharmacists can easily look up the vaccination’s ingredients. Trusted medical professionals are discredited when scare tactics such as these are employed. So-called credible experts are used in place of real doctors, parents begin to fear for their children, and eventually herd immunity breaks down because parents stop vaccinating for fear of autism. From a psychological standpoint, should parents lose their children to preventable diseases because they did not vaccinate, the damage can take years to heal. It can be irreversible in some cases.
In sum, analyzing articles is important. Doing so helps one understand which articles are about facts, and which articles are about swaying an individual with facts. Analysis allows us to help decide things for ourselves. Lithwick and O’Meara used facts, but also attempted to bully the readers into their way of thinking. Making many mistakes, they did not care if the result had deep psychological implications in the end. Fortunately, these results can be avoided if one learns to examine material critically, and understand not all articles are unbiased.

Works Cited

Lithwick, D. (2002). Urinalysis. Slate Magazine, 1-3.
O'Meara, K. P. (2003). Vaccines May Fuel Autism Epidemic. Insight Magazine.

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WePapers. (2021, March, 31) Good Example Of Following The American Psychological Association’s Guidelines Essay. Retrieved May 12, 2021, from
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