Knowledge is something that is acquired, accumulated, and built. It consists of facts, information, and skills that people acquire from experience and education. It can be understood theoretically or practically. At times, it is something that we grasp tenuously at best. Other times, we can swear by the profundity of our understanding. The scientific process is among the most objective, rigorous, verifiable, and communicable ways of generating knowledge. However, there are other sources of knowledge, both discussed in the book like personal experience and authority, and others not in the book like intuition, beliefs, tradition, superstition, documentation, or perhaps even divine revelation.

Consider both scientific inquiry and non-scientific sources of knowledge.

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1) Pick four of the non-scientific sources of knowledge. What are the pros and cons of this source of knowledge? How well do they contribute to your own ability “to know” things and give me some examples of things you know things to be true, even if you have not conducted a scientific study to verify it?

2) Consider your knowledge examples in question 1. What kinds of research questions or hypotheses could you generate to examine this topic scientifically and empirically verify what you purport to know?

3) Are there limits to human knowledge? Can you think of anything that, at present, we CANNOT know? What needs to change in order for us to be able to come to know these things?


Documents 001-012

Andrassy, Kalman. 2020. Guide to Research Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Kendall Hunt Publishing. ISBN: 9781792432774.


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