Data Analysis

    6 - 9 Grades
    10 - 12 Grades
This volume is part of the monograph series of the New Liberal Arts Program (1980-1992), a project of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The NLA Program had the goal of assisting in the introduction of quantitative reasoning and concepts of modern technology within liberal education. The Program was based on the conviction that college graduates should have been introduced to both areas if they are to live in the social mainstream and participate in the resolution of policy issues. The Center for Mathematics and Quantitative Education is delighted to make these monographs available.


The Role of Ideology in Biomedical Science
James J. McKenna
University of Notre Dame

This monograph will review what is known about the SIDS puzzle and some of the factors that make it so difficult to solve. In addition to describing the inherent methodological problems that arise when no consistent clinical markers, either before or after the infant's death, can be identified, the author uses his experiences in this research area to comment on the sociocultural factors that play a significant role in shaping and sometimes constraining the SIDS research paradigm.

The author attempts to demonstrate 1) physiologically significant changes in the sleep experiences of solitary and social sleeping infants and 2) that the changes found (presuming they are real) are peninent to understanding suspected infantile deficits thought to be involved in some SIDS instances.

Some of the more specific questions posed include: What kinds of physiological changes in arousals and breathing and hean rates do parents and infants have as a result of contact with each other throughout the night? Perhaps the kind of sensory communication such as breathing sounds, smells, sudden movements, breathing movements of the chest, and/or touch, reduces the number of breathing pauses, or increases arousals in infants, or simply prevents infants from sleeping in deep stages or from having apneas?

The mathematics is very elementary, consisting mostly of bar charts. There are no math problems provided by the author. The language is sophisticated and may be a barrier to younger students. The text provides enough background information for statistics students to engage in experimental design problems.

The Author also has a website Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory . which contains material relevant to this monograph.