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SCIENCE AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH BUSN 364 – Week 3 Özge Can.

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Presentation on theme: "SCIENCE AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH BUSN 364 – Week 3 Özge Can."— Presentation transcript:

1 SCIENCE AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH BUSN 364 – Week 3 Özge Can

2 The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions. ~Claude Lévi-Strauss, Le Cru et le cuit, 1964

3 Why Do Research?  Research can help you to:  Understand the world around you  Make better decisions in daily life and professional life  You use critical thinking skills in research. Critical thinking => The practice of carefully examining and questioning ideas.

4 What is Research?  Research is a process that utilizes specific principles and skills resulting in a product:  The product is knowledge or information.  Research results are answers to questions.  Good research raises new questions.

5 Social Science Research  Social science research affects every domain of life  Dozens of topics and fields within social research:  Law and public safety, schooling, health care, psychology, economics, political issues, business activities, international affairs and etc.  We use knowledge and principles of social science research directly or indirectly in:  Relationships with family, friends and co-workers, participate in community life or public policy, make daily decisions in business, professional and personal life.

6 Social Science Research: Methodology and Methods  Methodology is broader and envelops methods:  Methodology => understanding the entire research process, including its social-organizational context, philosophical assumptions, ethical principles and impact of new knowledge  Methods => collection of specific techniques we use in a study to select cases, measure and observe social life, gather and analyze data and report on results.

7 What Research Involves:  Gathering and studying preexisting information from various sources and making sense of it,  Applying specific techniques and principles and carefully studying events and facts in social reality,  Using critical thinking. All of the above, plus:  It relies on the process and evidence of science => scientific method

8 Scientific Method  Science:  A way of knowing about “how the world works”  Both a system for producing knowledge and the accumulated knowledge that results from that system  Combination of rationalism (logic) and empiricism (observation)  Emerged out of a major shift in thinking 400 years ago: The Enlightenment period (1600s-1700s)

9 Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition, Cristiano Banti, Science has been developed by the triumphs and struggles of individual researchers:

10  Rationalism  Using reason (logic) to derive new knowledge from old knowledge  Reliable conclusions can be derived from established facts if one uses logic  Empiricism  Direct and indirect evidence  To provide the initial facts on which theories might rest  To test the predictions from theories by seeing if they are accurate Scientific Method

11 Why do we need science?  Curiosity and enjoyment  Describing, explaining and predicting  Portraying the phenomenon, understanding-identifying its causes, anticipating outcomes  Controlling  Manipulating conditions/ environment

12 I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. --Albert Einstein (The Evolution of Physics)

13 Scientific Method  Science combines assumptions about the world; accumulated understandings; an orientation toward knowledge; and many specific procedures, techniques and instruments  Two key terms in science:  Theory => a coherent system of logically consistent and interconnected ideas  Empirical Data => forms of evidence or information carefully collected according to the rules and procedures of science

14 Alternatives to Scientific Knowledge  Commonly used alternatives to scientific research:  Personal experience & intuition  Common sense  Experts and authorities  Popular media  Ideological beliefs and values

15 Alternatives to Scientific Knowledge  Common Sense  “it’s the way things have always been”, “it is what everybody thinks/does”  People might fix their knowledge based on some social or cultural consensus  But this erroneous “common sense” misperceptions have real negative consequences  Also, the reasons for believing something may change over time, so what was seen as true in the past may change.

16 Alternatives to Scientific Knowledge  Personal Experience  People may decide that something is universally true based on their own limited experience.  The “truth” may be limited to that individual and it can lead to wrong directions.  Everyday reasoning and perceptions are imperfect, misleading and subject to error. More significantly, we rarely notice or catch such errors.

17 Alternatives to Scientific Knowledge  There are five major errors in our everyday decisions. Scientific research process tries to reduce them: 1. Overgeneralization 2. Selective observation 3. Premature closure 4. Halo effect 5. False consensus *Read the details of these errors from your textbook.

18 Alternatives to Scientific Knowledge  Authorities and Experts  Often, we accept something as being true because someone with expertise or in a position of authority says it is so. But it has lots of limitations.  Authorities/ experts might promote ideas that strengthen their power and position.  It is important for us to learn how to think independently and evaluate research on our own.

19 Alternatives to Scientific Knowledge  Personal Beliefs and Values  Simply believing something because you don't want to give up your belief.  Some people reject science and instead promote and defend actions based on their political, religious or ideological beliefs.  Popular Media  Many of us rely on the mass media (i.e., film, television, newspapers, magazines nad Internet sources) for information  But media can distort reality and social issues

20 An Example: 4

21 Why Is Scientific Knowledge Superior? Characteristics of Scientific Research Control —Manipulation, management and removal of certain variables or factors through rigorous designs Systematic and Generalizable— Follows widely-accepted principles and procedures; concepts and measurementd are clearly specified and well defined; results can be generalized Empirical—The acquisition of knowledge via objective and systematic collection of data rather than individual preferences and beliefs Replicable— Other scientists can repeat the research to see if the same results occur Self-Correcting (Falsifiable)— A system of challenges by which scientific claims can be verified; other scientists can scrutinize them

22 Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own. ~Bertrand Russell, What I Believe, 1925

23 Scientific Literacy:  The capacity to understand scientific knowledge; apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories; use scientific processes to solve problems and make decisions; and interact in a way that reflects core scientific values.  Researchers have concluded that only about 28% of Americans are scientifically literate  What do you think: How scientifically literate are Turkish people?

24 Pseudoscience  Many people still lack scientific literacy or confuse real science with pseudoscience  Pseudo means: “fake”  A body of ideas or information clothed in the jargon and outward appearence of science that seeks to win acceptance but that was not created with the systematic rigor or standards of the scientific method

25 Pseudoscience  We may face pseudoscience through television, magazines, films, newspapers, highly advertised special seminars or workshops.  Combining some scientific facts with myths, fantasy or hopes to claim a “miracle cure”, “revolutionary learning program”, “evidence of alien visitors” or “new age spritual energy”  To further illustrate the pseudoscientific thinking and its many examples, visit the Skeptics Dictionary: 

26 Norms of the Scientific Community:  Universalism  Organized Skepticism  Dis-interestedness  Communalism  Honesty

27 Why Learn About Social Research Methods?  To learn what scientific research is  To become a critical consumer of information; to develop critical and analytic thinking  Learn to properly evaluate and use others’ research and their results  Not only understand research outputs but the research process itself and implement it  Preparation for professional career

28 Key Topics in This Course:  How can I research something systematically?  How can I deal with a research problem?  What are the different research models and methods that I can make use of?  What is the implementation of a research? (propositions, measurement, sampling and etc.)  How will I choose among different data collection and analysis options?  How can I check the validity and reliability of a research method utilized in a study?  How can I write and present my research?

29 For Fun...  Watch => The PBS NOVA episode, “Secrets of the Psychics” (1997), provides a very interesting assessment of the role of science in testing pseudoscientific ideas. Pseudoscience critic James Randi exposes the tricks of psychics and other charlatans: 


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