Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lecture June 8th

Experimentation is paramount to science; however, I sometimes wonder if it should be something that is allowed in certain instances. The text does a great job of pointing out how much bias exists when experimentation takes place. We all form our own biases throughout life and many of them we are not necessarily aware of. All conclusions begin with their foundations just as drastically as all buildings begin with their foundations. You could build a house built atop hay stacks rather than concrete and although the houses may be built out of primarily the same materials and function for the same purpose, one will undoubtedly fall after a few years while the others will remain standing. We see this happen with science time and time again. Theories come and theories go. Unfortunately some theories, such as the theory of evolution, bias science to the point that no other theory is acceptable if based upon other foundations.

When it comes to social science, such as psychology and sociology, I feel that experimentation can be extremely harmful when it is based on faulty and biased assumptions. A few examples are gender biased research where women are assumed to be inferior to men or men inferior to women, ethnically biased research where one race is assumed less evolved or intelligent, among many others that are too plentiful to be named in a few short paragraphs.

I am not sure that I will be interested in experimentation since the social work field is too open to bias. I am constantly having to reevaluate certain biases and preconceived notions that form my opinions and even my moral foundation. We are all products of our surroundings, upbringing, and our consistently fluid image of self and the images of others who cross our paths each day. I believe that observation and historical and cultural research will be more relevant to my field of interest.