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Research and ideology

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sareg

IF-Dazzler

sareg

Joined: 10 January 2006

Posts: 3976

Posted: 21 August 2007 at 10:46pm | IP Logged

Fellow DM'ers

This is not a blame topic, not pointing fingers, just something going through my mind of a while, We all have done this, just curious to get everyone's thoughts on this

We often see in a debate, someone cites a research article, or a published material and that opinion is often taken as a holy grail, I am thinking how much of a holy Grail is that research

Suppose in a thread of discussing usage's of Ethanol, suppose a research is presented that state's how it is harmful, and the research is conducted by someone who was funded by say Exxon, how much of a credence do we give to that research?

Or say in a discussion about Euthanisa, a research by National Review Online is used(NRO is a semi-mouthpeice of right wing within the Republican party, and you know if a research is done by NRO, it has to be an ideology driven research). How much credence do you give to that research

Or say you have an article that is authored by Prakash Karat identifying the faults with a American policy, how much credence do you give it

Topic of debate here is

What comes first? Research or the ideology?

Does research form the basis of the findings of the article ?

or 

Is the research done to prove the ideology and anything contrary to the ideology is ignored?

how do you sift thru this to find what is the neutral research article?

Do you while researching for a debate/discussion have this at the back of your mind, that the research you are citing might be biased?

Again, this is not meant as a dig at any fellow DM'er, Almost everyone of us have cited some article, so if it was a dig, It would be at myself too



Edited by sareg - 21 August 2007 at 10:48pm

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Aanandaa

IF-Sizzlerz

Aanandaa

Joined: 07 April 2005

Posts: 13876

Posted: 21 August 2007 at 11:20pm | IP Logged
Sareg, a very appropriate topic Clap , considering the boom of search engines and how important part they have become of our lives..

Also you did not have to add so many disclaimers, this topic is a valid topic...

My take on this -

I am amazed the way some people make every imp decisions of their lives depending on the input/feedback, they get from the search engines...They somehow forget that Internet is like the walls of the public bathrooms, anybody can write anything...One needs to use his/her discretion before making it their quide...Agreed there are some genuine sites which offer near accurate information, but other than that, most of the sites/blogs are unauthorized and hence should be taken with a pinch of salt..The search Engines are very useful tools and we should just know how to use them and also learn not to become their slaves...

Its true that while we are debating, when we come accross a related article which appeals to our side of debate, we would be forced to produce it here...However, there is no guarantee that that article could be authentic...Since the debates here are also not like we are going to draft them and send them to some further research, we just produce those articles, to strengthen our POV...

Personally I am the most laziest girl and hence don't google much..Sometimes it misses my mind completely that I can actually use the tool, especially when I am buying some electronic goods etc..However, here in DM, when I am absolutely clueless about the topic, or when I am pushed against the wall and ran out of all my personal POVs, I go ahead and google and try to come up with further points...Of course, I always have that hesitation and doubt,unless it is really from a authentic site, when I am presenting that view, because basically its not mine and I don't know the resource of that info..

My 2 cents..Smile

Raksha



sourav1

Senior Member

sourav1

Joined: 03 July 2007

Posts: 277

Posted: 22 August 2007 at 1:10am | IP Logged
Even if the research is clearly seen as funded by vested interests, one needs to being out arguments for and against the research itself. Pardon me but statements like "Funded by vested interests" is a news item cliche. Research manytimes needs good money and if a corporation sees benefit, it will clearly fund it. The accusation that such funding has influenced the study will still need to be proved by citing gross errors in the study itself.

IdeaQueen

IF-Dazzler

IdeaQueen

Joined: 23 August 2006

Posts: 3152

Posted: 22 August 2007 at 2:20am | IP Logged
Originally posted by sareg

Fellow DM'ers

This is not a blame topic, not pointing fingers, just something going through my mind of a while, We all have done this, just curious to get everyone's thoughts on this

We often see in a debate, someone cites a research article, or a published material and that opinion is often taken as a holy grail, I am thinking how much of a holy Grail is that research

Suppose in a thread of discussing usage's of Ethanol, suppose a research is presented that state's how it is harmful, and the research is conducted by someone who was funded by say Exxon, how much of a credence do we give to that research?

Or say in a discussion about Euthanisa, a research by National Review Online is used(NRO is a semi-mouthpeice of right wing within the Republican party, and you know if a research is done by NRO, it has to be an ideology driven research). How much credence do you give to that research

Or say you have an article that is authored by Prakash Karat identifying the faults with a American policy, how much credence do you give it

Topic of debate here is

What comes first? Research or the ideology?

Does research form the basis of the findings of the article ?

or 

Is the research done to prove the ideology and anything contrary to the ideology is ignored?

how do you sift thru this to find what is the neutral research article?

Do you while researching for a debate/discussion have this at the back of your mind, that the research you are citing might be biased?

Again, this is not meant as a dig at any fellow DM'er, Almost everyone of us have cited some article, so if it was a dig, It would be at myself too

Nice topic Smile 

Definetely Ideology Smile  is the basic purpose of the discussion, to strengthen the point we can explain it with good  example and research articles if possible and if necessary Tongue

In this world for any issue there are multiple angles and the issue can be perceived in multiple angles !

However in the debates atleast in DM,if at all we post an article,we post it to prove the point we are trying to convey! Regarding the credibility of the author, the standards of the site,the publisher.....should'nt matter much incomparision to the stuff published there...unless and untill that article is a life and death issue to some or if it creates several problems to some!

Else..this is not an issue in a debate....particularly healthy debate! Original ideas are always wonderful and pleasure to read.Original concepts on some issues are tough .....then we post our views on that issue with what some learnt people have said about that....May be lack of knowledge Tongue....but sensible researched articles biased or unbiased to some side are better than never before never again ideasTongue!

Its upto an individual's mental maturity to react/over react to a the data in a researched article!

Say if there is a discussion on English Grammar..if suddenly someone posts a article on origin of A B C D ..it may irk ...may not irk

 

 

kabhi_21

IF-Rockerz

kabhi_21

Joined: 25 January 2006

Posts: 9942

Posted: 22 August 2007 at 3:32am | IP Logged
I think a research is always done with a purpose and is driven by the purpose of the research.... In all kinds of research materials, some points are ignored, which they think are irrelevent for purpose.... but the things which can contradict the result (purpose) of research is always considered, or noone would accept it.... the research published by certain authorities is surely reliable.... In a debate giving the reserach material is not wrong, it gives us atleast one point of view in detail.... A debator can not have all the raw materials on hand to do arguements so giving research reports is a short cut to get conclusions based on lots of raw materials (can be one sided).... but the debater might not have considered this raw material too.... for the other point of view there is always another debater who can pinpoint the inconsistencies and naturally a debate is formed based on some basic material....

So I think its perfectly alright to mention such reports,.... however I feel only feeling up debates with research materials is not fair, we must present our views in our own words and such reports shall just be supplements.... sometimes it thus happen that the research is main debate and our arguement is a supplement, which i feel is not correct Smile

Aanandaa

IF-Sizzlerz

Aanandaa

Joined: 07 April 2005

Posts: 13876

Posted: 22 August 2007 at 8:09am | IP Logged
Abhi, you are right...It would get irksome if someone just fills up the debates with copy pasted articles...It would be great if they could personalize whatever they were trying to convey..May be its a good idea to skim through the article and give us the extract of what they found in that article, of course giving the link for the article in the end, so that if anybody wanted to read the whole thing by themselves they can do it...And I think that is how we all do it here..

sareg

IF-Dazzler

sareg

Joined: 10 January 2006

Posts: 3976

Posted: 22 August 2007 at 10:18am | IP Logged

Originally posted by sourav1

Even if the research is clearly seen as funded by vested interests, one needs to being out arguments for and against the research itself. Pardon me but statements like "Funded by vested interests" is a news item cliche. Research manytimes needs good money and if a corporation sees benefit, it will clearly fund it. The accusation that such funding has influenced the study will still need to be proved by citing gross errors in the study itself.

I am not saying let us invalidate the findings of a research,

the question is

The research started with an ideology in mind(and most of them are, and absolutely no problem with that), however if the findings are tampered from an ideology standpoing, do those findings have the same value?

For example

There is a research done on say global warming, and is funded by an organization say a Coal mining firm

now if all they states is evidence refuting the existance of Global Warming, how much faith will you as a reader have in those findings

The researchers might have found both positives and negatives in the research, but when it came down to publication, all it states is the negatives, and that is all you see, will you beleive it?

souro

Moderator

souro

Joined: 27 January 2007

Posts: 13889

Posted: 22 August 2007 at 11:10am | IP Logged

Originally posted by sourav1

Even if the research is clearly seen as funded by vested interests, one needs to being out arguments for and against the research itself. Pardon me but statements like "Funded by vested interests" is a news item cliche. Research manytimes needs good money and if a corporation sees benefit, it will clearly fund it. The accusation that such funding has influenced the study will still need to be proved by citing gross errors in the study itself.

A research being funded by some organisation is not bad as such neither does it mean that there is something wrong with the study. But here we're talking about the research findings that we get to see on the internet and how much of it is believable. Most of the research findings that we see here don't give out the name of the market research agency that undertook the research, so how do we know how reliable the source is. Moreover, since you're talking about pointing out gross errors in those studies, tell me how do we do that without vital informations all of which are never given out, e.g., primary and secondary endpoints, study design (sample size, sampling method, location, duration, demographics). Obviously if they don't give out these informations I don't see any reason to treat them as authentic.



Edited by souro - 22 August 2007 at 11:11am

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