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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Jan > Jan 14

Re: Participation In Psychology Dissertation Study

From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 14:45:13 -0500
Archived: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 05:01:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Participation In Psychology Dissertation Study

>From: Joe McGonagle<joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 02:21:43 +0000
>Subject: Re: Participation In Psychology Dissertation Study

>>From: Don Ledger<dledger.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 14:34:03 -0400
>>Subject: Re: Participation In Psychology Dissertation Study

>>>From: Joe McGonagle<joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>>>To: post.nul
>>>Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2012 23:07:26 +0000
>>>Subject: Re: Participation In Psychology Dissertation Study


>I can think of all sorts of potentially useful output from such
>a study. How widespread is the interest? Is it gender and/or age
>sensitive? How much is the interest driven by
>media/religion/superstition/technological advances et c.? Why
>are a large proportion of society totally disinterested in it?

>If the study is repeated periodically, it may help to identify
>things like why interest levels fluctuate - is that due to
>bad/good press, differences in education standards, new
>discoveries, space technology activity, rise or decline of
>religious participation, un/availability of official records,
>political dis/trust, military tension, economic climate and so

>What I struggle to see is what damage this can do to Ufology,
>which is why I don't understand the apparent revulsion and/or
>suspicion expressed by the three of you.

No one has mentioned an apparent methodological issue that
should hamper interpretation of the results. That is, the
respondents to the questionnaire are self-selected. The research
will only be able to evaluate intercorrelations among the
questionnaire items (e.g., via factor analysis), and these may
be biased by unknown characteristics of the sample set.

Stratified random sampling of the population would average over
those unknown characteristics given a large enough sample size.
Without that, it will  be impossible to tell how the responses
to the questionnaire measure up to those of the general
population or any particular subset.

The suggestion that the study may be repeated to evaluate
changes in responses over time, etc. is particularly
problematic, since there would be no guarantee that the
population sampled is the same from one study to the next.

There may be some cause for the expressed concerns, since
methodologically bad research is often used to justify
unwarranted conclusions, especially by the press.


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