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The Practice of Social Research (M...

14th Edition
Earl R. Babbie
ISBN: 9781305104945

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BuyFindarrow_forward

The Practice of Social Research (M...

14th Edition
Earl R. Babbie
ISBN: 9781305104945
Textbook Problem

Think of a recent natural disaster you’ve witnessed or read about. Frame a research question that might be studied by treating that disaster as a natural experiment. In two or three paragraphs, outline how the study might be done.

Summary Introduction

Introduction:

The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011 damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan. One of the reactors melted down and released about 58 pounds of caesium-137 into the Pacific Ocean. Caesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years and is dangerous because radiation from it is easily spread in water. A research question related to this natural disaster could help determine if the radiation released by this event lead to increased incidence of illness and reduction in life expectancy for people in the area.

Explanation

Answer and explanation:

(This question requires a subjective answer, this is an example.)

One example of a study based on a natural disaster is measuring the health effects of the nuclear reactor meltdown caused by an earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011. This disaster caused the reactor cooling systems to fail and disabled backup power systems due to flooding caused by the nearly 50 foot waves of the tsunami. The Fukushima Daiichi meltdown is classified as a level 7 accident, on par with the disaster in Chernobyl in 1986. Both of these disasters released caesium-137, a water soluble radioactive isotope, into the environment.

The research should begin with a survey of average life expectancy in areas adjacent to Fukushima, including nearby islands with human populations. The research should include the frequency of causes of death from cancer and radiation poisoning, as well as the rate of birth defects prior to 2011...

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