This time I did a little better because I took notes on the article that I was critiquing, but I still did not complete an entire essay in the allotted time.
When explaining the findings of a scientific study one must take into account the particular circumstances of the test in order to assess the validity of the validity of the findings of the scientific finding. The letter’s argument comes from information gleaned from a limited study of eighteen rhesus monkeys. Therefore, the conclusions from such a limited study are automatically suspect. The information provided by this particular study would have to either be backed up by several other similar studies or to be a survey of a much larger population of rhesus monkeys in order to come to any believable conclusion from the information provided.
Additionally, the argument directly compares the findings of the study of the rhesus monkeys with the findings of a study on humans without providing any information about how likely it is that these findings could be related. While it is true that monkeys and humans have many things in common due to their close relation as mammals, they are not the same species. Therefore, one cane not just assume that a similar finding in both species will stim from the same cause. The rise in cortisol in the in the monkeys could very easily be caused by a different mechanism than the rise in cortisol in the human subjects.
Also, the tests between the monkeys and the humans come from differing stimuli and may not correlate for that reason as well. The monkeys are stimulated by the introduction of another monkey, and the humans are stimulated by the reintroduction of an absent parent. A parent who has been absent is already a known quantity and the human subjects are likely to react with joy when reunited. However, the monkeys are introduced to an unknown monkey, who could be interpreted as a rival, so the monkey is more likely to react with fear than the human subject. Therefore, more information would be needed to confirm that the two studies could be accurately compared.