research error

The Illusion of Our Research Data

Don’t get too married to your research data because it may just be an illusion.  That is the premise of Jonah Lehrer’s captivating article in The New Yorker magazine (“The Truth Wears Off: Is there something wrong with the scientific method?” December 13, 2010).  Lehrer makes the point that the repeatability – which is to say, the integrity – of scientific data is fleeting.  Using examples from experimental research in psychology, zoology, and biology (biomedical and neuroscience), Lehrer concludes that, “Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true.”

Central to the article is an attempt to explain what Joseph Banks Rhine (a psychologist at Duke University from 1927 to the early 1960s) called the “decline effect” – meaning, Read Full Text

Error in (Qualitative) Research

It should be pretty obvious from my earlier posts that I am a big believer in the idea that research design is governed by core principles that apply to everything we do.  I believe that it is not good enough to be a qualitative researcher or a quantitative researcher or an online researcher or an ethnographer or whatever.  That, regardless of our mode or technique, we are obligated as researchers to practice “good research” defined by adhering to basic tenets that we all should have learned in school.  Unfortunately, college marketing research courses may fuel silo thinking in research design by organizing in-class discussions around research “classifications” rather than Read Full Text