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Research Methods - 1/181/25ResearchMethods Waysofknowing...

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1/18-1/25 Research Methods Ways of knowing Common sense or folk wisdom Senses and experiences Authority  Science  Common sense or folk wisdom We know that something is true… because it is “self evident” or it is widely known  Folk wisdom is loaded with “truth” and considered “accepted knowledge”. Even if you don’t understand why or the science behind it Ex. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. No one knows why, but everyone knows it and it is accepted.  Scientific truth behind eating skin- it is high in antioxidants  However, folk wisdoms are not always valid. Ex. the Five-Second Rule…not valid, even though we always hear it Senses and experiences Learning from personal experiences and their own observations (what I smell,  touch, see, hear, etc.)
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Called empiricism - rely on something concrete to make argument, rather than  just “common sense” Casual and unsystematic Could reach a conclusion that is solidly wrong It may be valid just for oneself. One’s impression might be just wrong.  Ex. when you are sitting on a bus and staring at your watch, you feel like it is  moving slower Ex. Deer Whistles  Put on car and makes a high pitched sound to scare away deer You can’t hear it, but they can When brought to a deer farm, it doesn’t seem as effective as much people say  it is Ex. Mueller-Lier effect Authority Truth is established through a trusted source such as religious leader,  governmental officials, and experts. Relying on experts Experts can clarify controversies. However… Blind allegiance to authority could have debilitating results on our search for  reliable knowledge. Experts may not always have the “expertise” with which we credit them. o Credibility has multiple aspects o One aspect is authority
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o Another is trustworthiness, believability  o Someone can be credible without authority, and vice versa o Ex. ask pastor about tax returns; has no knowledge of taxes The supposed authority figures could have various interests to protect.  o Ex. man claimed that shots cause autism, however he was not a reliable  source- only did study on 12 children People often respond to… Symbols of authority, rather than to the substance of authority o such as knowledge and expertise  It is difficult to see authority. We only see “symbols” of authority, and these  symbols are easy to counterfeit.
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