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A PARADIGM FOR AVOIDING SPURIOUS OUTCOMES.

Introduction:

Due to the brevity of this essay so much will be condensed or avoided so that the basic spine of the research frame is clearer. Thus, one can complain about missing a special portion of some part of the discussion and yet know where to use this if the information is not refutable. We will not describe the dimensions of reality. The definition and the steps are so overwhelming that this author will step over this stage for the sake of the essence of the paradigm. Nearly, every paragraph may contain debatable statements. However, what is important is what may be done to move the process of research forward by having a glimpse in terms of where we are going. It is more like a sign post than a path. (Snell, J. Cangemi, J. and C. Kowalski, 2008)

Additionally, nearly all the terms are one's that were addressed to the reader in graduate school. Glossy multi-syballic definitions are avoided. As an example, when the word science is used here it means searching for natural causes to a valid outcome. That is all that it means. Although numerous sidebars, rejoinders, and intertwining discussions may have emerged elsewhere, it is meant to be avoided here.

Spurious means findings that results are not valid. It may also mean the theory and methodology is not sound or has not yet been accepted. Nor, is it consistent or reliable. In contemporary parlance, it is "junk." (Snell, J. and M. Marsh, 2007)

Description.

From the above, the author suggests 9 positions. They tell the researcher where they are in a larger process. This does not mean that it applies to all scientists in all situations. Some of the exceptions will be discussed based on space. It will also help science writers and readers where the research is located in both the scientific and wider public. Thus, a situational definition emerges about the state of the science at the time it is being conducted. Valid means this medication or other subject is true for the time at hand. Or, this medication is accurate. Reliable indicates that this medication is consistent with the treatment of an illness. It is transparent and falsifiable.

Thus, the topic is the process of acceptance or rejection by the scientists and others in a community. (The area of medical and pharmaceutical research will often be used here although, the scientific method may apply in numerous areas including the social science, education, and related.

Research Acceptance Paradigm

1. Valid/ Scenario

Theory/Valid

This product (medication) comes from substantial research and used in the public without problems, when taken in the correct dosage and time. Side effects and related can be traced back to other variables. It is not likely to be brought to court for a lawsuit. It may be replaced in the future through process of research and the improvement of an already helpful drug or by law in which a generic is available to the public. In reverse fashion, a negative trigger is just as applicable. Smoking cigarettes is highly correlated with lung cancer and may act as intervening variable in other pathologies. The basic premise is that not all chemicals are healthy to ingest in humans and/or creatures. This is one and has just relatively recently been placed in this position. Numerous court fights have emerged from this corporate product. It is legal to ingest in one's system depending on age. The addictive component is nicotine. The carcinogenetic is tar composed of 4,000 chemicals. It kills. 60 chemicals are thought to change the human cell DNA and the cells start changing. The cell's immunity no longer fights the virulent cell pathogens to denigrate the order that enhances health. So, a cigarette or related is lighted flooding pathogens that antagonizes cells to fight back. Over time, it kills. It also spreads (metastizes)through the lungs and other portions of the body. The above explanation has taken decades, if not years to be found acceptable.

Methodology/Valid

Cross sectional studies appear to be used on large random and purposive samples. There have been classical, double blind experiments on large random, randomized, and purposive studies. It has also been used on lab animals as well as other animals. All the above are acceptable science. Numerous studies have replicated the above. Few or none have been false.

Outcome/Valid

Some individuals smoke and use other harmful chemicals especially in large doses. They survive according to their actuarial mortality. However, control groups with similar life styles, demographics, and psychographics appear to live longer and healthier lives. A warning is placed on a tobacco products. This may change, but at the time this is written it is acceptable. Knowledge workers, science writers, the general press and for this essay education is that cigarettes are harmful to one's health. All of this has taken really thousands of years to come to this outcome. (--, 2014.)

2. Mixture Scenario

A new finding has a tremendous ripple effect. Sides emerge about the finding. Or, an old phenomena is revitalized and refurbished. Further, an organized theory or body of thought is carried on for generations and is internalized into the culture. Many believe and even more do not. However, many newspapers carry information about it every day. It is astrology. It has emerged in literature, music, popular culture, and even politics. The Reagan presidential political administration was influenced by astrology through the president's wife Nancy, a supporter.

Theory/ Mixed

At the moment of birth, a certain invisible force impacts a humans' personality. It is based on geo-centrism. This means that the sun revolves around the earth. Relationships and human affairs are changed due to changes in heavenly celestial bodies. Research and charts are created to suggest to the respondent what may happen at a future date. If valid, this is incredible. One can determine alternative strategies if future outcomes mean death, despair, or dismemberment. Standard scientific protocol has not supported geo-centrism or valid outcomes about future events. Signs such as Cancer and Leo may overlap and not be mutually exclusive. The body of knowledge has not held up to standard scientific protocol. However, it still remains popular with nearly 25% of the U.S.A. population. Commercial trade or therapy reading is a legal available service in many large urban areas. (Pillai, 2014. 1-14)

Methodology/ Mixed

An individual is grouped by astrological signs to see if matched by non-astrological control group, if a characteristic emerges that supports the astrological theory. Leo's are thought to lack leadership skills. How do they compare with other leaders of other signs? Is there a significant difference? Cross sectional studies may be conducted. Numerous other strategies have been to see if the theory is valid. This is not the case. Other studies more strongly suggest that astrology does not work. However, it is still a tool used in alternative medicine. (Pillai, 2014, 1-14)

Outcome/Mixed

There are numerous "sciences" as well as non-FDA approved medications that are lawfully traded among consumers and producers. For many these remedies, will be continually available because they are not defined as illegal. Their placebo value may also be helpful.

However, many cannot be outright rejected because a new finding in another area may make the mixed results become valid with the new research findings. It remains in the mixed category for good reasons. (Pillai, M. 2014:1-14)

3. Spurious/Scenario

Theory/ Spurious

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a board certified medical researcher discovered that if infants are vaccinated with MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) they are significantly likely to develope autism. This is a profoundly serious illness where neural development is slowed or negatively impacted. Both cognitive and non-verbal behavior is also tarnished. The theory then is ingestion of MMR vaccine leads to significant increases in autism in children.

Methodology/ Spurious

Wakefield manipulated the data to appear that the ingestion of MMR became a major cause in an infant developing autism. This finding was so important, that it was published in Lancet. This periodical is one of the top journals in its field. The media spread the news immediately throughout the world. The vaccine corporation sued.

The findings, the prestige of the journal, the size of the lawsuit even reached tabloids. Numerous studies replicated Wakefield and did not have the same outcome even if they used the same research methods. Further, naturalistic studies found that if an infant was overlooked or did not ingest with MMR that they were significantly more likely to get measles, mumps or rubella.

Journalists discovered that Wakefield's study would support a huge lawsuit already in court against a vaccine corporation. That part of those funds would also go to Wakefield. Thus, the methodology was established to encourage a profitable outcome for Wakefield. Further, even more money was to be made by Wakefield up front if he would accept the study and conduct the fraud. Last Wakefield and another would create a home screen test to check if infants were developing autism or related and save a visit to the hospital. Profits would go to Wakefield in the sum of what they thought would be 43 million dollars for the diagnostic kits.

Outcome/ Spurious

All of the above begins even earlier in the 90's when there were rumors that MMR may be related to another serious disease. Thus, the subculture of medicine and social media were at first predisposed to something serious attached to MMR and that a prestigious journal would publish it now seems more likely. All the above took place in a period of over a decade. It is one of the worst frauds in medical history.

Wakefield with a lawfully accredited MD and board certification was found guilty of fraud and lost his license to practice medicine in the United States and the United Kingdom. How many deaths and severe illnesses have been the outcome of this is only estimated. (Dominus, S., 2011)

Conclusion

A fraudulent study was conducted for the profit of the researcher and other parties. So how may all the above apply to astrology, cigarettes, and related. It is discouraging to read of a new study in education using computers Where the researchers claim success that the study was valid and reliable. Further, there is a suggestion (computer related) of how this may be applied to numerous student populations. (Lewis, T., 2013) But does it work?

Did the computer corporation help fund the study? Are there student populations that cannot be taught because of other variables not directly related to the computer? Does a school need to hire instructors with a bachelor's degree? Money could be saved by hiring a few teachers and numerous low wage assistants.

What was the quality of the research? How was it conducted? How many students will improve in the areas most needed by industry or other means of production? What about the quality of the teaching. At the time of this writing, the promising and profitable educational delivery does not appear to work (Lewin, T., 2013)

So, it appears that we can create a 9-position table to sort out the validity and the questionable other findings. If anything, it orders some of the clutter in the chaos of research.

Again, whatever the latest outcome, we have sign posts to suggest where we are into the discoveries made in education. Some may be viable and even a few others very helpful. In ways that could be serendipitous. Clearing the clutter is perhaps the most important result.

Joel Snell

Kirkwood College

References Cited

--(2014) "Tobacco Smoking and Cancer: The Evidence " UK: Cancer Research

Dominius, S (2011 4/20) "The Crash and Bum of the Autism Guru" New York Times,

Lewin, T (2013: 12/10) "After the Setbacks, Online Courses are Rethought" New York Times

Pillai, M. (2014 1/24) "The Scientific Case Against Astrology" Openthemagazine.com.

Snell, J.C., Cangemi, J.P., and C. J. Kowalski (2008) Social Essays on Chaos Theory, Boston: McGraw Hill

Snell, J.C. and M. Marsh (2007) "Publishing False Results in Medicine: Spurious, Discovery, and Verification Findings" Psychology and Education: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 41, #1
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Author:Snell, Joel
Publication:Education
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 22, 2018
Words:2015
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