Inferential Statistics Article Critique

Inferential Statistics Article Critique

PSY 325 Statistics of Behavioral & Social Sciences (PSI1918A)

Inferential Statistics Article Critique

There are several aspects when it comes to inferential Statistics. Exploring this concept is what drives most psychological research. After developing statistics with descriptive procedures, it turns into inferential statistics analysis. In this paper, we will look at what inferential statistics are and how we use them, look at the article “Differential effects of a body image exposure session on smoking urge between physically active and sedentary female smokers”, and explore the variables, the inferential statistics used in the article, as well as if the proper steps of hypothesis testing were followed, and conclude with using statistical concepts to interpret the findings of the author.

Inferential statistics is used when “the researcher infers from a portion or a sample of the whole what is likely to occur in the entire group or population of similar people (Tanner, D., 2016).” In inferential statistics we learned that sometimes the inference that we gather from a sample, that the population is not specifically represented in the sample. Trying to conclude what all people will do by using what a sample of people would do, is the basis of inferring.

Looking at the article, “Differential effects of a body image exposure session on smoking urge between physically active and sedentary female smokers”, it looks at the effects of physical activity on reactivity to body image and smoking cues and variability in smoking cue-reactivity related to physical activity, in female subjects 18-24 years of age who were smokers. “The primary hypothesis was that after the body image manipulation, sedentary smokers would demonstrate greater self-reported urge to smoke and a shorter latency to first puff on a posttest cigarette compared with physically active smokers (Nair, U. S., Collins, B. N., & Napolitano, M. A., 2013).”

In this study, researches used 37 female smokers between the ages of 18-24 years of age and interviewed them. Choosing these women specifically was based on them smoking more than five cigarettes per day, within the past six months. It was important to note that in this group of women, none of them had any prior diagnosis or treatments in place for any disorders. Two groups were used: active and sedentary. The physically active group was considered as someone who participated in 60 minutes or more of a workout. Sedentary group participated in a maximum of 30 minutes of work out, or physical activity. During the study, the participants were a part of a 90-minute session in which they had to complete the questionnaire, give informed consent, and had a task that consisted of a body image exposure task. The participants were asked to stop smoking two hours prior to the session. “Results showed a protective effect of self-reported physical activity on post body-image challenge smoking urge. Specifically, time spent in vigorous intensity physical activity was related to lower urge to smoke following the body image challenge (Nair, U. S., Collins, B. N., & Napolitano, M. A., 2013).” The mean age for this group was 20.27 years of age and approximately smoked 9 cigarettes on a daily basis.

I took note of some of the restrictions that was put on this study. One being the limit put on the workout. If there was not a restriction put on the time that they had to work out, for example, just saying either work out or do not, and would that make a difference in the outcome of numbers. Several methods and test were conducted and applied during this research. There was the nicotine dependence test (Fagerstroms test for Nicotine Dependence), Body Image State Scale, also the Physical Appearance State. There was also a questionnaire that gaged smoking urges.

Nair, Collins, & Napolitano (2013) states, “There were no group differences in smoking, body image, weight concern, or sociodemographic variables at baseline. The only group difference at baseline emerged with the PA group scoring higher than the SE group on the automatic subscale of the SMQ. There were no differences between the groups on other scales of the SMQ.” The purpose of this study was to see if the effect of physical activity, when having the urge to smoke showed a behavioral change that provoked body and weight concerns. The research revealed that there was a link among physical activity and a smoking urge.


1. Nair, U. S., Collins, B. N., & Napolitano, M. A. (2013). Differential effects of a body image exposure session on smoking urge between physically active and sedentary female smokers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(1), 322–327.

2.Tanner, D. (2016). Statistics for the Behavioral & Social Sciences (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.