From: Dave Haith <visions1.nul> Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 10:26:37 -0000 Archived: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 06:09:38 -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 Sorry to snip everything so far in this long running debate but I thought it might throw some light on the topic if I tell you that I wrote to Andrew Hodrien when this first surfaced on this List. I didn't name the List or the debaters but gave him some idea and a couple of quotes to illustrate the nature of the concerns. I received an e-mail back from Hodrien in which he offered an explanation of the survey and he promised to send me the questionnaire. I immediately wrote back asking for permission to post his remarks on this group. That was a week ago and no response or questionnaire so yesterday I wrote again but still no response. So I've decided to post his e-mailr anyway - there's nothing in it I'm sure that he wouldn't want everybody to know. I doubt that it will settle anything but might shed some light... (The sarcastic comment he refers to is Jerry's original remark about the word 'belief') Here's his e-mail: ----- Hi Dave, Thank you for alerting me to this issue, which is - yes, sadly a misinterpretation. I say sadly, because I hadn't expected the details on the original advertisement to be misinterpreted and am now concerned this could happen for others. However, it is important for me to be aware of such issues in the research process. Unfortunately, as the study has already begun I think I'm unable to change the advertisement (unless there is a subtle adjustment I'm allowed to make). I shall explain in the best way possible, but hope you can appreciate I can't tell you too much, otherwise you would be unable to take part (whilst there is no deceit as such, we have to control for participants knowledge on the expectations of the study - ironically this appears to be the current issue, but with the person having false expectations of the study). The study itself isn't considering anything to do with the validity (or non-validity) of UFO experiences, it is literally about the nature of beliefs, but (and perhaps this is where the issue arises from) this also includes scepticism as part of that term. It is only psychological in the sense that it is about beliefs, but it is not attempting to say anything about the nature of UFOs. Also, if the sarcastic comment was read literally, it is the type of criticism from debunkers of the UFO phenomenon (not true sceptics) used to challenge believers unfairly. This is something I am attempting to tackle, particularly in the discussion of my dissertation. It is a shame that from a participant's perspective they will most probably only get to see the study itself, and not the wider discussion it forms part of (however, I have had some requests from individuals to read about it after completion). I am actually more aware than most, about how the previous bias in psychological research towards explaining away paranormal or ufology-related phenomena, can put people off taking part in such studies. Without revealing my own views, I can assure you that my research is not following this tradition. However, I'm sure you can appreciate that in terms of the results of the study, to a certain degree I have to interpret them fairly (however they go). But, as mentioned already, they form part of a wider discussion about beliefs and scepticism. I did attempt to make my study explicitly mention that it is being conducted from a 'neutral' position, but encountered some issues with doing that. On a personal note, if you need anymore assurance, perhaps knowing that I have studied the UFO phenonmenon for around 20 years, and have studied psychology for the last 5 years, which puts me in a relatively rare position in psychology. Sorry for the long e-mail, this is just something I am passionate about, ufology and conducting research properly. I'd like to (if possible) correct any misinterpretations a person could have about the study (regarding its intentions) and therefore not participate, but more importantly avoid a person automatically thinking this study is imposing a view of UFOs having no validity. Hope the above helps resolve this but please let me know if you have any other questions about it (that I can answer without stopping your participation! - of course I'm happy to discuss anything after the study too). Would you mind letting me know the group where these issues have been raised? Is it posted on a specific forum or is it an e-mail List discussion? Unfortunately I'm extremely busy at the moment but want to try and clear this up as soon as possible. Based on this, if you are happy to take part let me know and I will provide you with the details (don't forget, you won't actually provide consent until after you have read some more study details in the survey and people can withdraw if they wish to). Best regards, Andrew Hodrien ----- Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |
UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp