Knight: Insider Research (Ch.7)

Hi Everyone,

Further to Knight’s discussions in relate to “insider research”, I believe researchers are often too personally and emotionally attached to the research issues. As an “insider”, their history, experience, feeling, and knowledge lead them to form their own judgment before conducting the research. Therefore, the research results could easily be tailored to meet their own biases.

What you guys think about this?








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2 responses to “Knight: Insider Research (Ch.7)

  1. vangorpb

    I agree the fear of biases can be a definite hurdle, and can prevent someone from thinking objectively about the work that they are doing, but there are positives to such a perspective too. Prof. Fiorella Foscarini (sp? writing off the cuff here) is a great example of where this kind of insider perspective can be extremely useful, because it allows access to areas that would normally be off limits to researchers. Fiorella completed her PhD by studying the archival actions of national banks, (similar to the Bank of Canada), and she got access to these avenues by being employed with the European Central Bank before she began her research. Normally these institutions are very secretive, and would not so politely refuse any attempts at access. However, since Fiorella was less of an outsider than a colleague she was able to shed light on practices that would normally go unseen. That’s one of the fascinating things about this faculty. There never seems to be one right way to go about things, even basic concepts like objective vs subjective.

  2. tracymatos

    I agree that researchers can feel personally and emotionally attached, thus resulting in biases in their research. However, in one of my classes a couple of years ago, I learned that there will always be biases in our research and they cannot simply be diminished. Instead, what we have to do is acknowledge them and attempt to be as objective as possible, but again this is definitely not easy. I have found myself attached to my research topic and participants, and it was quite difficult to be completely objective and I found this normally happened when I dealt with a vulnerable group or a sensitive and personal topic.
    Thank you for bringing this up Liz!

    Tracy Matos

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