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Research says …

Never totally trust this phrase.

Who did the research? How much experience did they have, and what biases – from cognitive to selection to sampling to publication – may have been involved?

Who funded the research, and how much influence did they have? What were their potential biases?

How many people were asked, examined, tested, and according to what methods?

Do any claimed findings show causation, or just correlation?

Most importantly, has it been replicated? How many times? (By whom, with how many people. You get the idea.)

A by-product of the push-button publishing world we live in these days is that “research” is everywhere, and there is a lot of pressure to publish it. Certainly, that applies for traditional academics, but the thirst for research has multiplied exponentially with the growth of social media and content marketing. There is a continual and growing need to feed the beast.

If you are on a mission to learn, this is a serious issue. When research is cited maintain a healthy skepticism and use your critical thinking skills.

This, of course, is purely my opinion. I don’t know what the research says on this one.

And I probably wouldn’t trust it anyway.

Leave a Comment:

Jeff Cobb says

Thanks for commenting, Adeyemi. Love that story about the workshop. Lot’s of that kind of stuff out there! – Jeff

Adeyemi Adetilewa says

This is so relatable and also hilarious at the same time. I once attended a “workshop” where one of their sales strategy is to use the words “research says”. In their opinion, it offers credibility to whatever they have to say and will help them with more sales.

The world we live in today is so obsessed with getting results that most people don’t care about the means so far it justifies the end. Just as you pointed out earlier, this is purely my opinion based on personal experience. I don’t know what the research says about this.

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