Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Studies, yes. Science, no. But why?

The experimenter is not automatically isolated from his experiment, since the subject responds to him, adjusts his attitudes, looks for responses from the experimenter--and sometimes figures out what the experimenter is looking for. The experimenter cannot study processes in the subject in isolation unless the subject is in some way isolated from the experimenter. Reproducibility isn't possible (no two people are alike, and the same person will react differently to the same situation a second time, from boredom if nothing else).

The only way found to deal with this is misdirection and abstraction so that the subject cannot figure out what is going on.

This distancing means that the experimenter deals with the subject as if he were a thing and not a person. Ignoring the most fundamental thing about your subject matter seems like trying to study physics without ever thinking about energy.

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