Findings of My Thesis Research

A short UPDATED message to those who have decided what the research findings of my doctoral thesis will be before the thesis is completed, defended, and published.

(Updated 5/6/18) My thesis defense slides are published here at 

Some people seem to think that a research question framed by the null hypothesis (h0) must lead down a particular path to a particular answer, and they may worry that the answer is one with which they might disagree.  If this strikes close to home for some, then those people are uninterested in the scientific method.  They’re more likely to want to click their heals three times while uttering, ‘I want to go to my predetermined conclusion…I want to go to my predetermined conclusion…I want to go to my predetermined conclusion.’

In simplified terms, here is how the scientific method works:

By Keith Chan - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Illustration by  Keith Chan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Rigorous research requires asking questions, forming a falsifiable hypothesis to avoid searching for a self-fulfilling prophesy, setting the proper level of statistical significance, and fearlessly following those data wherever they lead, even when the destination is not what was expected or hoped for.

Honest researchers follow the data; pundits demand those data follows them.  Friends don’t let friends act like pundits.

I say,

“If you’re not part of the scientific method, you’re part of the scientific problem.”
Jonathan L. Kramer

If a pundit is not into the scientific research thing, but rather just the self-fulling prophecies thing, they probably won’t like the book; they should wait for the movie. Tell ‘um I’ll buy the popcorn.


PS: When my thesis is published then they’ll have their opportunity to challenge my findings.  That said, the pundits should be prepared to show their own research data, rather than their hopes and dreams, to support their own conclusions.

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