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Dissertation research on second life brands. short questionaire.


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Melita Magic wrote:

. But research shouldn't that leave some room for the unexpected? Rather than trying to bend fact to support a preconceived opinion?

A reasonable question, let's see if the verbal part of my brain is working well enough to answer.

Any time we are challenging a prior belief we have the expectation that our research is going to show something contrary to prior belief.  (The prior belief can be an existing scientific theory or someone's whimsical common sense.)  In some cases the prior belief we are challenging is best thought of as ignorance or the absense of knowledge, so we may well have no prior expectation beyond a belief that there is something to find. 

In many cases it is the expectation that we will overturn or extend prior knowledge that justifies the research effort in the first place.  Without such an expectation the research wouldn't get done.  However, as you correctly point out, the researcher must work very hard to avoid biasing (bending) the research to a specific prior expectation.  

The practice of guarding against bias is part of the training that researchers are supposed to receive.  A good researcher knows which outcomes are most likely, but they also exercise care against forcing their results to match that specific expectation.   Failure to avoid such bias, and there are certainly examples of such failure, can be a very real problem. 

So, yes, the researcher should always leave room for the unexpected, even though most research begins with some expectation(s).

Did that make any sense?

 

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Melita Magic wrote:

Yes it made sense, this is the part I was getting at but apparently wasn't too clear!

VRprofessor wrote:

So, yes, the researcher should always leave room for the unexpected, even though most research begins with some expectation(s).


 

 

 

Well, all research is based on observations.  You saw something happen and you want to delve deeper into it.

Based upon prior experiences you may question a result or an outcome. 

If all your life every balloon you ever observed sank to the ground and suddenly you saw one rise in the air it could become a topic for study.  We take these things for granted because when we were young someone explained Helium to us.  But what would you do if you suddenly saw a Helium balloon sink?

There is no research that begins with out a pre-conception.

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