The Importance of Diversity in Research
Victoria Gurol, Abby Williams
Undergraduate interns for B-RAD lab at the University of Alabama
Throughout history, a lack of diversity in research authority, participation, and focus has led to consequences such as overgeneralized study results and limitations in healthcare for underrepresented demographics. When we are talking about diversity, we are talking about the idea of acceptance and respect for all humans in all contexts; socioeconomic, historical, and cultural. It is also the appreciation and respect for the uniqueness of each individual. Within the community of psychology, it is important to include diversity in our research in order to allow a “broad spectrum of demographic differences”. When research is conducted with a small group of people but meant to provide results that represent an entire population, this can become problematic when the population is not represented in the sample. Research teams can make a difference for underrepresented demographics by aiming to recruit participant samples that are reflective of diverse communities. With the B-RAD lab being conducted in the academia setting, it can be easy to select samples within close proximity, but this can restrict our study’s full potential. The B-RAD laboratory is currently recruiting participants and putting a focus on recruiting participants from diverse communities to ensure our data is as representative as possible. Our team also focuses on specific ways we can improve our research practices to be effective and comfortable for all participants. Throughout this series of blog posts, we will be going through various topics on diversity in the research space and how this can be beneficial to improving our research.
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