Section 1; Research Methodology

Section 1; Research Methodology - Section 1 Research...

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Section 1 Research Methodology I. Ways of Knowing About the World Scientific research is often viewed by people as some sort of specialized enterprise for the intellectually gifted. A mysterious and incomprehensible array of techniques and skills carried out hidden away, out of sight, behind laboratory doors. But science is really just one way out of several to understand and gain knowledge about the world. There are several which we'll cover: Authority , Logic , Intuition and Science . And science is easily the most accessible and democratic way to do so. Science is based on multiple repeatable objective independent observations while following specific detailed procedures. The procedures, though, are not secret or guarded. Anyone, who is willing, can be taught to perform them. That is why science can be viewed as accessible and democratic. Unlike some other ways of knowing abut the world, in science, if I follow a series of procedures and observe a result then anyone else should be able to follow the same procedures and observe the same or similar results. In an odd way it is just like cooking and following a recipe: if the procedures and materials are faithfully duplicated then the results should be the same or very similar each time. Not everyone is Emeril Lagasse, but if you follow his recipes you can cook just like him. Screaming "BAM!" at the top of your lungs each step of the way while you "kick it up a notch" as you make pork egg rolls with sweet and sour sauce is optional, though. A. Authority Simply put, authority is taking somebody's word for it. Whether you ask first or you are lectured, apparently out of the blue, someone tells you something about the nature of the world: what something means, how to behave, what not to do, what will happen if you run across the street without looking or eat less than thirty minutes before swimming. Basically, we rely on authority all the time. It isn't necessarily a bad thing to do so. It can save a lot of time and unpleasantness that we might otherwise go through if we had to learn everything about the world around us by trial and error. However, authority does have its problems. Those we look towards for authoritative statements often disagree among themselves. Parents may say that it's acceptable for their eighteen year old child to drink wine with a meal but the government says that the legal drinking age is twenty-one. And authorities sometimes change their minds. For instance, government's legal drinking age at one time was eighteen. And sometimes authorities change their minds because they can be very wrong . The government, at one time in the distant past, said slavery was legal; not anymore. B. Logic
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This note was uploaded on 03/25/2009 for the course PSY 301 taught by Professor Pennebaker during the Spring '07 term at University of Texas.

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Section 1; Research Methodology - Section 1 Research...

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