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Scientific Method Lecture 1 WA UAM 1MA/2 sem/2013


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Scientific Method Lecture 1 WA UAM 1MA/2 sem/2013

  1. 1. Scientific Method 11 MA English PhilologyBarbara KonatDepartment of Epistemology and Cognitive SciencesFaculty of Social Sciences2013
  2. 2. Technical information:How do I get the credit for the course?Participation – min. 80%. In groups, prepare and present your own research project on the poster session (last class:12.06.2013).Where I can find the course presentations, syllabus and other information? hours: Friday, contact me.What if I have more questions?
  3. 3. About mePhilosopher, PhD Dissertation in the Methodology of Linguistics (Cognitive vs. Generative linguistics).Faculty of Social Sciences (Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, Culture studies).Institute of Philosophy. Department of Epistemology and Cognitive SciencesI am also interested in: corpus linguistics, cognitive liguististics, logic.
  4. 4. Course structureModule 1 - Introduction (classes 1-3)scientific method, empirical science, empirical linguistics, research proccess, operationalization, ethics in research.Module 2 – The structure of scientific article (classes 4-6) reading an article in empirical linguistics, experiment and observation.Module 3 – Research plan preparation (classes 7-11)Final - Poster session and oral presentations of research plans.(more in syllabus:
  5. 5. At the end of this course…You will know the difference:- Between scientific method and intuition.- Between experiment and observation.You will be able to:- Read an scientific article and analyze it on the meta-level.- Prepare your own research plan.
  6. 6. Exercise 1 – Nice to meet you Prepare 2 minutes presentation, answering the following questions: 1. Why do I study English Philology? 2. What do I want to learn in SciMet classes? 3. What is the subject of my MA thesis? You have 5 minutes preparation time. Remember to take notes for your presentation.Image by lumaxart(EbonyG00052_LuMaxArt) [CC-BY-SA-2.0via Wikimedia Commons.
  7. 7. KINDS OF KNOWLEDGEImage by Smallbones (Own work) [CC0],via Wikimedia Commons
  8. 8. Knowledge„Not so much what we know as how we know it.” (Babbie, 2010)
  9. 9. The world is roundImage from: Inspired by Terry Pratchett’s „Discworld” book series.
  10. 10. Dark side of the moon is coldBy Tomruen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  11. 11. How do you know? Have you been to the space and watched the Earth from the distance? Have you been to the dark side of the moon lately?
  12. 12. Exercise 2: The art of knowing Donald Henry Rumsfeld (born July 9, 1932) is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. From: Wikipedia. This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made as part of that persons official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
  13. 13. Exercise 2: The art of knowing“Now what is the message there? The message is that there are no "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we dont know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we dont know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well thats basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.It sounds like a riddle. It isnt a riddle. It is a very serious, important matter.Theres another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something exists does not mean that you have evidence that it doesnt exist. And yet almost always, when we make our threat assessments, when we look at the world, we end up basing it on the first two pieces of that puzzle, rather than all three.”Rumsfeld, NATO Headquartes, June 6, 2002 - from Wikiquotes.
  14. 14. How do we know: traditionTenacity (tradition):people will clinge to an idea simply because it seems to be common sense.
  15. 15. How do we know: authority 1. We do well to trust the judgment of a certain person, who has the special training, expertise, and credentials in a given matter, especially in the face of controversy. 2. But what about the authority of experts speaking outside their field of expertise?The Thinker and his WifeCernavoda, Karanovo Culture 5000 BC.
  17. 17. Scientific methodWhat sets science apart, is its dependence onintersubjective verification, the possibility thatknowledge can be empirically tested by differentresearchers.Keywords:IntersubjectiveVerificationReplicability
  18. 18. Exercise 3: Is language science possible?Patricia Smith Churchland Avram Noam Chomsky is anis a Canadian-American philosopher American linguist, philosopher, cognitive noted for her contributions to scientist, logician,historian, political critic,neurophilosophy and activist. From Wikipedia and the philosophy of mindFrom Wikipedia Exercise: Watch the movie. Take notes, compare their arguments, say what you think
  19. 19. Language science - how do youcollect the data? Experiment, observation or native speaker intuition? Psycholinguistic view: Monica Gonzales-Marquez.
  20. 20. A Lion’s TaleLion - Rostock ZooSource Wikimedia
  21. 21. Language science - how do youcollect the data? „ Clearly asking a lion how he communicates, would be fruitless. What would you need to do, is to arrange a controlled circumstances under which you could record his vocalizations in response to the situations you construct and whose meaning you do understand.” Monica Gonzales-Marquez.
  22. 22. ERRORS IN INQUIRY Image by: By Arodichevski (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  23. 23. Innacurate observationWhat is the color of the doorknob, outside this room?CONCIOUS/UNCONSIOUS observationMeasuremenst
  24. 24. Overgeneralization Few similar events provide evidence of a general pattern. Imagine you are a reporter covering an animal- rights demonstration. 3/3000? Keywords: representativeness, samplePhoto by Andrew Selman (Ownwork) [GFDL(, CC-BY-SA-3.0 CC-BY-2.5via Wikimedia Commons
  25. 25. Selective observationWe tend to focus on future events and situations that fit the pattern, and we tend to ignore those that do not.Racial and ethnic prejudice!
  26. 26. Illogical reasoningThe gambler’s fallacy
  27. 27. Somewhere in science…. interdisciplinary researchPicture from:
  28. 28. Keywords to rememberKnowledgeIntersubjectiveVerificationReplicabilityExperimentObservationIntuitionRepresentativenessSample
  29. 29. Thank you!How do I get the credit for the course?In groups, prepare and present your own research project on the poster session (last class:12.06.2013).Where I can find the course presentations, syllabus and other information? hours: Friday, contact me.What if I have more questions?, or today after classes (we finish 15 min earlier today).
  30. 30. This lecture is based on:Babbie, E. R. (2011). The practice of social research / Earl R. Babbie. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Publishing Co.