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Biases in Your Research. How to Deal with Them

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Biases are not always acknowledged by researchers and that may impact their studies negatively. Know them and be prepared to deal with them successfully.

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Biases in Your Research. How to Deal with Them

  1. 1. Exploiting Rapid Change in Technology Enhanced Learning … for Post Graduate Education Biases in Your Research
  2. 2. “The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend” Robertson Davies Tempest-Tost (1951)
  3. 3. Agenda 1. What are biases? 2. Effects of biases 3. Types of biases
  4. 4. What Are Biases? Systematic weaknesses in judgment, in favour or against something, that lead us to questionable decisions or erroneous conclusions Know your goal first Preconceptions in action
  5. 5. Why Do Biases Exist? Reflect on reasons Cognitive Motivational Cultural
  6. 6. Effects of Biases in Research 1. Biases in the design of the research = useless results and conclusions 2. Biases in the interpretation of the results = invalid conclusions Think of consequences for your research
  7. 7. Types of Biases How biases look like
  8. 8. Confirmation Bias Focus only on perspectives that are similar to ours and ignore or dismiss those that challenge our points of view Look only for what you believe in
  9. 9. a. Challenge preexisting assumptions and hypotheses b. Ask research questions that allow the emergence of unexpected outcomes c. Perform sampling in such a way that the sample includes not only subjects that may support the researcher’s views but also those that may challenge them d. Do not omit results that challenge your views. Interpret them e. Build instruments that do not prevent the gathering of data that may challenge your views f. Design procedures that make subjects comfortable enough to provide accurate and reliable information g. Stick to what data shows. Do not manipulate results h. Avoid making conclusions based on just one source of information How to minimize confirmation bias
  10. 10. In-group Bias Overestimate the positive aspects of the ideas and positions of our group and do not consider or value what has been proposed outside it Focus only on one position
  11. 11. Buyer’s Stockholm Bias Justify an overt incorrect decision so as to avoid feeling uncomfortable or insecure of our views Fear to challenge
  12. 12. Observational Selection Bias Assume the frequency of an event or thing has increased after we have selected it Overestimate impact
  13. 13. Anchoring Effect Bias Compare and contrast items or decisions using only a limited set of criteria Evaluate using restricted criteria
  14. 14. Bandwagon Effect Bias Reject to accept evidence Follow the ideas or behaviours of others, despite evidence against, due to our desire of fitting in
  15. 15. Negativity Bias Think negatively Assign more importance or credibility to negative news or situations
  16. 16. Status-Quo Bias Aversion to change Avoid decisions that may change the current situation because new scenarios are perceived as inferior or worse
  17. 17. Projection Bias My point of view is the best Think other people think like us and agree with us due to our difficulty to project outside of our minds and preferences
  18. 18. The Current Moment Bias Now is what matters Have trouble to imagine ourselves in the future and make decisions accordingly
  19. 19. Bias Blind Spot You are biased. I am not Perceive the existence and operation of biases in other people more than ourselves
  20. 20. What You Know Now 1. What a bias is 2. Why they exist 3. Impact on your research 4. Types of biases
  21. 21. What’s Up at DoctoralNet? 1. Fridays – quick technology examples per topic: Nov 18th 8. keep your motivation up Dec 3rd 9. tools for data collection 2. Webinars through December – Phase 1, 2, and 3, covered each month 1. November 22nd – Doctoral socialization: What are you missing and why should you care? 2. November 29th – Discussing Your Findings: A Qualitative Case Study 3. December 6th – Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks 4. December 13th - Organization for 2017: Moving Your Thesis Forward 5. December 14th LET’S PARTY! 3. Groups! – alternate Tuesdays – Read Listen Comment (Improve Your Writing & 4 Lingerers (Get Your Thesis Moving Again)

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