Presentation on theme: "Reasons to be cautious of research in sport and exercise science Professor Scott Fleming."— Presentation transcript:
Reasons to be cautious of research in sport and exercise science Professor Scott Fleming
The overview 1.The fallacy of objectivity 2.The bias(es) of asking questions 3.Imprecision in operational definitions 4.Illogicality of inferences 5.The veneer of ethical propriety 6.Non-reporting of findings 7.The misuse of statistical gymnastics
Stages of the traditional view 1.Observation & experiment 2.Inductive generalisation 3.Hypothesis 4.Attempted verification of hypothesis 5.Proof or disproof 6.Knowledge (cf. Parry 2005)
Observers view things differently: From other observers From themselves at different times Depending on sensitisation
Subjectivity and observation An observation is undertaken –By someone using her/his senses Experience of observing is subjective The observation is described Putting the private experience (observation) into the public domain (statement/writing) Meaningful description requires shared understanding of vocabulary
Highlighting flaws in argument Logical All people are mortal; Sachin Tendulkar is a person; Sachin Tendulkar is mortal. Absurd – False syllogism All people are mortal; My dog is mortal; My dog is a person.
False syllogisms and cricket West Indians are good at cricket; X is West Indian; X is good at cricket. West Indians are good at cricket; X is good at cricket; X is West Indian.
Bogus reasoning India have a long history of producing world class spinners; Indians are good at spin bowling because theyre Indian; Indians are physiologically and psychologically better equipped for spin bowling. The French make good red wine; The French have natural ability at making red wine; The French are genetically better equipped to make red wine.
Popperian falsificationism: countless confirming instances can never conclusively verify a general proposition, but a single counter example can conclusively falsify it. (Parry, 1986, p.212)
Exceptions to the principle Is the research question worth asking? research Other method (s) to answer the research question? Yes No May be OK to engage in deceptive methods and/or obviate the need for IC Yes No Forget it Use it (them)
Modified consent Ex-post facto consent, Proxy or presumptive consent, Prior general consent (Holloway and Jefferson, 2000)
Assumptions about presumption Acting in the interests of subjects, but… –You cant know If you cant find out If you dont try to find out Especially if you have no reason to care –Its not the same
Conclusion (i) Knowledge is provisional –Scientific knowledge may be falsified. –This is how progress in science works. –We should welcome not fear falsification. –Only if some observation would refute it is it testable. –And only if it is testable is it scientific. (Parry, 2005)
Selected sources Chalmers, A. F. (1983) What is this thing called Science?, Milton Keynes; Open University Press (2nd ed.) Hale, T. (2001) Do Human Movement Scientists Obey the Basis Tenets of scientific Inquiry? Quest. 53 pp Hughes, J. The Philosophy of Social Research, London; Longman. Kuhn, T. S. (1970) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago; University of Chicago Press (2nd ed.) Magee, B. (1982) Popper. London, Fontana Press. McNamee, M. J., Olivier, S., and Wainwright, P. (2006) Research ethics in exercise and health sciences. London: Routledge. McNamee, M. J. (2005) (ed.) Philosophy, and the sciences of exercise, health and sport: Critical perspectives on research methods. London: Routledge. Parry, J. (2005) Must scientists think philosophically about science? In M.J. McNamee (ed.) Philosophy, and the sciences of exercise, health and sport: Critical perspectives on research methods. London: Routledge, pp Woolgar, S. (1993) Science – the very idea. London: Routledge.