Chapter 2: Scientific Methods Different ways of knowing Scientific method produces the most accurate information Science is self-correcting Information acquired through a scientific process can be “falsified” Non-Scientific Methods Method of tenacity Accept as fact statements that have been made repeatedly over an extended period of time Tenacity produces the poorest quality information Organizational decisions based on tenacity may lead to serious legal and financial consequences for an organization Method of authority Accept as true statements made by people in positions of authority or sources we consider infallible These may include our own or others’ experiences, values, and norms derived from a culture or religious system, or statements made by “experts” Truth based on authority is not absolute; it depends on both the authority and the acceptance of the authority by the believer Not all people accept or recognize the same authority, leading to disagreements over what constitutes the truth Method of rationalization Also known as the a priori method Refers to knowledge developed through the process of reasoning, independent from observation An individual begins with an initial set of assumptions (which are accepted as true without the benefit of observation or experimentation) and uses these initial assumptions to derive new statements or truths The derived knowledge is only true within the context of the initial, a priori assumptions Different starting assumptions lead to different conclusions Intuition Intuition is a form of rationalization based on vague or fuzzy unstated assumptions and a deductive process that may not always be logical Once the initial source of knowledge is accepted, so must be the derived information No means to challenge the correctness of decisions based on intuition
Increasingly, today’s executives are making decisions through intuition Feel intuition is built upon their accumulated successes and failures in work and in life Scientific Knowledge o Science produces the highest quality information o Accepts as true only the information that can withstand continued challenges to its accuracy o Self-correcting o Information is checked for accuracy with methods that are objective Scientific methods can be examined, critiqued, and used by others Conclusions based on badly designed, biased, or flawed experiments become corrected through public examination by other investigators of a study’s methods, data, and conclusions o Scientific knowledge is constantly undergoing revision Characteristics of science Several essential features o Science is concerned with reality o Objects and events exist apart from an observer o Science accepts causality o The universe, including human behavior, is based on a set of orderly relations, which can be described, predicted, and explained o Science is empirical o
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- Psychology, researcher, investigator, measurement error, o Science