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 By Using the Scientific Process to Evaluate Your Programs, You Avoid the Following Errors:  Overgeneralizations  Selective Observation  Illogical.

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Presentation on theme: " By Using the Scientific Process to Evaluate Your Programs, You Avoid the Following Errors:  Overgeneralizations  Selective Observation  Illogical."— Presentation transcript:

1  By Using the Scientific Process to Evaluate Your Programs, You Avoid the Following Errors:  Overgeneralizations  Selective Observation  Illogical Reasoning  Resistance to Change  Adherence to Authority

2  Overgeneralization  Assuming that what is true for one or two cases is true for all  Selective Observation  Choosing to look only at things that are in line with our preferences/beliefs  Illogical Reasoning  Jumping to conclusions based on illogical reasoning  Adherence to Authority  Believing the person making the claim has the knowledge  Resistance to Change  Reluctance to change our ideas in light of new information  Ego based commitment  Devotion to tradition

3  Overgeneralization – She observed only two cats – both of whom were previously confined indoors. On the basis of these two observations she generalized to all cats. Dear Ann, I just moved my two cats to a house in the country. When I lived in the city, I felt guilty because I never let my cats outside. When we arrived in the country I noticed several cats outside, so I threw open my back door to let my cats roam – free at last! My cats cautiously went to the door and looked outside for a while and then returned to the living room and lay down. I’ve realized that people should not feel guilty if they keep their cats inside – even when cats have the opportunity, they don’t want to play outside.

4  Selective Observation – She observed the cats only once – and focused only on her cats. Dear Ann, I just moved my two cats to a house in the country. When I lived in the city, I felt guilty because I never let my cats outside. When we arrived in the country I noticed several cats outside, so I threw open my back door to let my cats roam – free at last! My cats cautiously went to the door and looked outside for a while and then returned to the living room and lay down. I’ve realized that people should not feel guilty if they keep their cats inside – even when cats have the opportunity, they don’t want to play outside.

5  Illogical Reasoning – She assumed that others feel guilty about keeping cats indoors, and that cats are motivated by emotions. Dear Ann, I just moved my two cats to a house in the country. When I lived in the city, I felt guilty because I never let my cats outside. When we arrived in the country I noticed several cats outside, so I threw open my back door to let my cats roam – free at last! My cats cautiously went to the door and looked outside for a while and then returned to the living room and lay down. I’ve realized that people should not feel guilty if they keep their cats inside – even when cats have the opportunity, they don’t want to play outside.

6  Resistance to Change – She was quick to conclude that she had no need to change her approach to cats. Dear Ann, I just moved my two cats to a house in the country. When I lived in the city, I felt guilty because I never let my cats outside. When we arrived in the country I noticed several cats outside, so I threw open my back door to let my cats roam – free at last! My cats cautiously went to the door and looked outside for a while and then returned to the living room and lay down. I’ve realized that people should not feel guilty if they keep their cats inside – even when cats have the opportunity, they don’t want to play outside.

7  Adherence to Authority – She was writing to Ann as an “expert” to validate/support her conclusion. Dear Ann, I just moved my two cats to a house in the country. When I lived in the city, I felt guilty because I never let my cats outside. When we arrived in the country I noticed several cats outside, so I threw open my back door to let my cats roam – free at last! My cats cautiously went to the door and looked outside for a while and then returned to the living room and lay down. I’ve realized that people should not feel guilty if they keep their cats inside – even when cats have the opportunity, they don’t want to play outside.

8  These same kinds of errors lead to the following conclusions:  Affirmative action results in reverse discrimination  People are poor because they are lazy  Politically conservative people are prejudiced

9  Overgeneralization – Because they read about one or two cases in the newspaper, they believe it is common  Selective Observation – They focus only on these examples and not on evidence that could discount their claims  Illogical Reasoning – They assume that affirmative action legislation is the problem and not erroneous implementation of the legislation by individuals  Resistance to Change – They discount empirical evidence that this statement is not true because they had a negative personal experience related to affirmative action (i.e., a relative who experienced reverse discrimination)  Adherence to Authority – They refer to a popular political figure who has made this statement

10  Overgeneralization – Because they observed one or two people who “took advantage of the system” they assume this is the same with all people who are poor  Selective Perception – They focus only on those who are lazy and don’t consider all of the working poor  Illogical Reasoning – They assume that there are jobs available for people who aren’t working  Resistance to Change – They haven’t been generous to people in poverty, so they want to believe they deserved it. OR they have been raised to believe you can “be anything you want to be”  Adherence to Authority – They refer to popular political leaders who have made this claim

11  Overgeneralization – May know one or several people who are prejudiced and conservative  Selective Perception – Discount evidence that conservative people may be very involved in volunteer work, etc. Only focus the on fact that they don’t vote to support social programs  Illogical Reasoning – Don’t realize that people can have some prejudices, but not others  Also assume that lack of support of social programs means they are prejudiced.  Resistance to Change – Have made disparaging remarks in past, and so don’t want to admit they, themselves, may be prejudiced – prejudiced against conservative people  Adherence to Authority – Refer to political leaders or people in Social Work profession who have made this claim

12  Know the research!  Make claims based on empirical evidence  Know how to evaluate information/research  Distinguish good research from poor research  Avoid “never” and “always”  Understand that research is based on the idea that we claim to know what MOST people will do MOST of  Understand that research is based on the idea that we claim to know what MOST people will do MOST of the time!  Recognize there will be exceptions and realize behavior is generally explained by multiple factors

13  Overgeneralization  Assuming that what is true for one or two cases is true for all  Selective Observation  Choosing to look only at things that are in line with our preferences/beliefs  Illogical Reasoning  Jumping to conclusions based on illogical reasoning  Adherence to Authority  Believing the person making the claim has the knowledge  Resistance to Change  Reluctance to change our ideas in light of new information  Ego based commitment  Devotion to tradition

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16  Use random sample to study individuals/groups  Use explicit criteria for determining cause  Measure and sample phenomena systematically  Use scientific method  Use evidence that can be examined and critiqued by others (repetition)

17  Every case in the population must have an equal probability of being selected for study group  Sample groups must be of adequate size  If you do not have a random sample then you can determine what CAN happen, but not what TENDS to happen

18  X and Y must be related  Change in independent or causal variable will mean change in the dependent or effect variable  X (independent variable) must come before Y (dependent variable)  There is no Z variable (other factor) explaining the relationship between X and Y

19  Example 1  X is gender (male versus female)  Y is grade point average  Mean grade point average is higher for females than males  Thus gender and GPA are related

20  Example 1  X is amount of time student studies  Y is score on exams  Students who study more have higher scores on exams  Thus amount of time students study (x) and scores on exams (y) are related

21  Which comes first….  The chicken or the egg  Watching violence on TV or being violent  Education or income  Testosterone or aggression

22  Is damage caused by firemen?  Is shoplifting caused by large hands?  Does race explain criminal behavior?  Does height influence IQ?

23  As the number of firemen increases so does the amount of damage  People with larger hands are more likely to shoplift  African American males are more likely to commit crimes than Anglo American males  Taller second graders have higher IQ scores than shorter second graders

24  The relationship between the amount of damage and the number of firemen is explained by size of fire-- These two are related because they are both related to size of fire  As size of fire increases so does amount of damage  As size of fire increases so does number of firemen called  The relationship between hand size and the monetary value of things that are shoplifted is explained by gender  Men have larger hands than women and men are more likely than women to shoplift items of greater monetary value.

25  The relationship between race and criminal behavior is explained by socioeconomic factors (income, family structure, etc.)  The relationship between height and IQ is explained by their relationship to age  In second grade, older kids are taller and older kids have higher IQs

26  Identify a research question and do a literature search  Identify and operationalize concepts  What you want to study  Identify population and draw sample  Who you want to study  Collect data  How you want to study them/it  Analyze data  How you will study them/it  Write a report and present information  Carefully document this process so someone else could repeat it—The more time an experiment is repeated, the more valid and reliable it becomes

27  Using the best current research evidence allows us to assess:  Accuracy of assessment tools  Effectiveness of different interventions  Research helps program developers identify:  Client values (i.e., prefer individual vs. group interventions)  Community values (i.e., understanding of what interventions are acceptable)  Client Circumstances (i.e., voluntary or court ordered)  Research expertise results in program expertise  Skilled extension agents can integrate past experience and skills with “sound” empirical evidence

28  To influence policy makers  Guide policy development  Influence distribution of resources  To assess intervention strategies  Make judgments about appropriate treatments  To implement and evaluate programs  To identify characteristics of current clients  To communicate with clients – give results Extension workers can use research:

29  Descriptive Research  Describe the sample, program, etc.  Exploratory Research  Explore unique program situation(s)  Explanatory Research  Explain WHY people behave in certain ways under certain conditions  Evaluation Research  Evaluate current programs

30  Engel, Rafael J. and Russell K. Schutt—The Practice of Research in Social Work  Dr. Carol Albrecht  Assessment Specialist USU Ext   (979)


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