Why are blacks or African Americans so much likely to die from Covid than whites?

Goal: To help you learn how to be explicit about our “mental model” of what things (IVs) cause something to happen (and what do not) and to give you practice identifying DVs and IVs in a real research situation.

Remember: Criteria for success are in the rubric!


View lectures 3d and 3e about mental models before starting

Spend about 15 minutes explore these websites that have graphs and tables on Covid differences across groups.

Then, using the following rulesfind or create ONE graph or table that compares cases/deaths/vaccinations per 100,000 for at least 2 but not more than 6 groups that differ considerably between the groups and, therefore, prompt the question: “Why do these groups differ?”

  • Select cases, deaths, OR vaccination rates (only one of these and NOT other variables)
  • Select data since the beginning of the pandemic for cases or deaths and to the beginning of vaccinations if you do vaccinations. Do NOT just use data for the past week or month.
  • Select graphs or table options (no maps allowed)
  • Select rate per 100,000 or 1 million (do not use ANY other statistics/metric)


Submit a Word document via this Canvas assignment. It must contain the following 5 elements (and see word limit above)

  1. Graph or table: Take a screenshot of the graph or table that you found or created from one of the websites above. How to screenshot: Windows (Links to an external site.) // Mac (Links to an external site.) // or photo with your phone. Copy and include the screenshot in your document (not as a separate file)!
  2. Describe research question and dependent variable (what needs explanation): Describe how your graph or table shows a major difference in case, death, or vaccination rates across groups. Then rephrase that as your research question. Example: “My graph/table shows that there are 50 Covid cases per 100,000 Martians but 24,000 Covid cases per 100,000 Venusians. My research question is: Why are Venusians so much more likely than Martians to contract Covid?” If needed, explain in more detail what the difference between your groups is.
  3. Describe possible independent variables (potential explanations of dependent variable): Identify three (3) things that might explain why the groups in your graph or table differ. These are your possible “theories” of why the groups differ. Example: “Martians may have lower Covid case rates than Venusians because a) Martians breathe only once per day and Venusians breathe 5000 times per day, b) Martians never interact with humans but Venusians interact regularly with humans, and c) Covid came from Mars and Martians evolved resistance to it but Venusians have not.”
  4. Describe your “mental model” of HOW Covid cases, deaths, or vaccinations happen. Explain HOW your independent variables cause change in your dependent variable. Example: Covid is spread by particles emitted by humans entering and replicating within the lungs of Martians or Venusians. Venusians are more likely to contract Covid because humans emit Covid particles and Venusians are close to humans more often, they breathe more often when around humans, and their lungs are better for Covid replication.” Think VERY carefully about your mental model: a mental model that is good for understanding differences in case rates between groups is NOT likely to be a good model for understanding differences in death rates between groups.


  • Word count at least 700
  • Format: APA
  • Learning Goal: I’m working on a writing question and need a reference to help me learn.

Paper outline

Research Question

My research question is: Why are blacks or African Americans so much likely to die
from Covid than whites?

Possible Independent Variables

African Americans live in Crowded Housing Conditions due to poverty.
African Americans have higher rates of Underlying Chronic Conditions.
African Americans Suffer from Racial Discrimination.

Describe Mental Model

The rate of contacting Covid is higher among blacks than whites due to poverty that
deprives them of the ability to self-isolate.

Solution to this problem


Liked This Paper?

place your order now and we’ll get started right away.

Similar Posts