In sum -...

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In sum, knowledge can be generalized on the basis of simple naive notions  of similarity, or on the basis of understanding what's going on. This has  led to two research strategies: 1) research emphasizing similarity to  maximize generality, and 2) research emphasizing the understanding of  the mechanisms of action and the control of confounding factors to  maximize generality. "Similarity" research is often done in the "real" world  with "real" people or at least primates while "understanding" research is  often done in the laboratory with synthetic situations and the most apt  non-human subjects. "Real world" subjects or settings are maximally  similar along some dimension assumed to be important in an effort to  establish generality of the obtained functional relationships.  Unfortunately they typically introduce many confounds which seriously  undercut the actually obtained generality, as well as limit the information 
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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In sum -...

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