The practice of viewing things from more than one perspective…to gain a more rounded view of the situation (Denscombe, 2010)
Dr David Heap has been our guest lecture for the past 3 weeks discussing Research. At first the thought of 4 lectures based entirely on research importance baffled me. I’d been doing this throughout my higher education and thought it had been drilled into us enough. However, Dr Heap showed us how to look at it differently compared to how I had previously been taught. This week particularly made me think about how I’d previously gathered my research and scrutinised it.
There were simple changes I could make to my work so it would be more credible and reliable. Student led projects sometimes are not the best environments to produce strong research led projects due to;
Limited understanding of methodology
Under-scrutinised data (thin evaluation)
However, it wasn’t this that I was mostly interested in. What got me thinking was the section about ‘what to look for in your findings’ and critical thinking. The dictionary describes ‘Critical Thinking’ as the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.
We do it everyday in many situations without even realising it. But do we do it enough when it comes to things we read on the internet or what people directly say to us? When researching a project as students we are told to comment on the reliability of our sources but when it comes to socially looking at what we are told, I don’t believe we do enough. A prime example of what came to my mind was the ‘Avril Lavigne Conspiracy’.
In short, a Brazilian blogger was investigating how easy it was to make people believe something over the internet by forging facts and figures and created the ‘Avril Lavigne is Dead’ blog. They story spread across the internet and soon people were rally believing that Avril had been replaced by a doppelganger. The story got so big it was reported in a number of British newspapers including ‘The Sun’ (28/09/16) .
I noticed the story first when it popped up on my Facebook newsfeed and instantly rolled my eyes thinking that no one would buy in to it. However, the next day I found that it had been shared by three more friends. After reading through a few comments I realised that people were really considering that the singer was dead.
Curious I decided to have a look at the original source. A number of photos were displayed to prove the theory.
As well as ‘evidence’ from CD lyrics. However, within the first paragraph the blog explains:
“Esse blog foi uma forma de mostrar como teorias da conspiração podem parecer verdadeiras.
This blog was created to show how conspiracy theories can look true.”
In a age where information is constantly available and in our view we now more than ever need to check our sources and to not believe everything we read. Dr Heap’s ‘Triangle of Truth’ is a simple way of analysing things? By viewing things from more that one source and with a number of different data sets, you get as close to the ‘truth’ as possible.