Biology and confirmation Bias

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I am a biologist. I have been trained to think like a biologist and to explore every possible option in research as well as to observe every thing within an experiment. When learning about confirmation Bias in the book and lectures it got me considering how well I have or anyone has actually done this. In research we always think that we take everything into account and we account for everything but are we really or are we just thinking about the things that will help our research reach the outcome we so desire. For me psychology and how the brain functions is impressive and exciting as well as foreign so the thought that I might be subconsciously directing my research toward the outcome that would prove my hypothesis correct is to an extent mind blowing. For many researchers I can see how after so much time has gone by working on one project it means so much more to them that the data come out to support their hypothesis or theory but I worry if that desire over rides their scientific thought and directs them to only collect or account for the things that support their work and not absolutely everything. It makes you second guess a lot of the big scientific finds because who knows if they are really real or if the desire of the scientist to get an outcome guided the results of the study.
For me this is the biggest concept that has me concerned as a biologist but many other aspects discussed have my thinking. Metaphysical claims also have me thinking because again as a scientist we don't like the unexplainable and they are talking that there are just things that can't be tested or investigated. How do people then know anything about that subject if it can't be tested? More importantly to me is how do other people just let it set with the idea that there is a subject that simply can't be tested or explored and it is what it is and we might not know exactly what it is. I don't know if that has to do strictly with me or my experience as a biologist that has me being uncomfortable with not knowing. I look forward to exploring things like this more as the semester goes on in order to get a firmer grasp on the whole subject.

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In psychology, there are guidelines and checks in place to help ensure that data are analyzed and interpreted properly, but mostly relies on the researcher being ethical.

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This page contains a single entry by bursa020 published on October 3, 2011 11:14 PM.

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