Processing research that's based on shaky assumptions?
Hi Zettelkasten friends,
How do you process research that's based on shaky assumptions? By "shaky" I mean that in the middle of reading, you figured that the authors were either assuming that a specific concept is true, or are implying that the specific concept applies to their study's context.
So for example, a lot of other studies are based on Zeigarnik Effect, but other studies on the same concept have failed to replicate the phenomenon. Or implying that the "need for cognitive closure" applies to the "task" context, even when the cited paper refers to closure in the context of beliefs.
Their results would fit nicely into their assumptions and hypotheses, but the assumptions themselves don't hold up based on the other papers.
So if you were in my place, do you think the experiments would still be valuable when you interpret the results yourself? How would you process them?
I'm actually frustrated right now because after processing Sophie Leroy's famously cited paper on attention residue, I discovered that most of her citations in "need for cognitive closure" were not in the context of attention, but rather on beliefs and the act of finding more information to attain certainty. Specifically, she asserts that:
As a result, compared to people who are motivated to reach cognitive closure, people who are not motivated to reach cognitive closure are more likely to keep thinking about a task even after it has been finished.
...even though the papers she cited before that statement did NOT refer to any context of a "task" at all. I'd feel like I've just wasted hours reading it, if it weren't for the tangentially made notes.
Anyways, here's the TL;DR version
- How do you process research that's based on shaky assumptions?
- If the study was experimental/observational, do you think the experiments would still be valuable when you interpret the results yourself — despite knowing that the assumptions were shaky?
Side note: If you have any resource recommendations on guides re: how to process experimental studies better, that'd be most helpful!
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