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My Orders. Track Orders. Change Language. English Arabic. Important Links. Follow Us. App Download. US UK. Thank you for subscribing! Please check your email to confirm your subscription. Our Stores. It is more explicit, as in the case of prejudices, or more implicit, as in the case of biases. Thus, they are studied as important sources of social conflict. But, there is no reason to think that they are not widespread in every domain of human knowledge as a consequence of our cognitive structures, even in more abstract and complex domains such as scientific knowledge and research.
For that matter, we may recall that, for example, confirmation bias, the inclination to interpret information in a way that confirms our preexisting believes, is very pervasive in scientific research and has been investigated in the last thirty years, both in general Nickerson and in special sciences, such as in psychology Hergovich et al. This study aims to explore the possibility of stereotypes in scientific research.
The problem is how pinpointing these possible tendencies without explicitly asking. Form this point of view, we know that stereotypes and bias could be very close or even overlapped. But, for our purposes, we will assume that we are dealing with stereotypes because they are tightly related to categorization and categorization tasks are part of some peculiar cognitive experimentation methodologies used to detect implicit connections among different categories.
Therefore, we have decided to use a tool usually exploited in detecting stereotypes, the Implicit Association Test IAT; Greenwald et al. An easier or more difficult association between concepts and attribute show an inclination toward one category or another, or, in case of neutrality, its lack. The IAT is particularly useful to detect social stereotypes, given that they are based on oversimplified categorization of social group. Our challenge has been to fit the IAT in research context. Most of these topics deal with dichotomic problems, such as the dispute on realism and antirealism, or reductionism and emergentism.
A lasting debate on these topics has led to many different positions, which it is not our intention to deal with. What we are interested in is whether we may consider the concepts characterizing the dichotomies as different tendencies in everyday research activities of researchers. For example, have they an inclination to consider the elements and objects of their research as real things or just references in the framework of the theory underlying their specific research?
And speaking of inclination we mean, obviously, implicit inclination. One of the much discussed topic in philosophy of science is reductionism, that is the idea that, broadly speaking, a theory can be reduced to a more general, more fundamental theory, or that one entity can be reduced to a more basic one, usually in a different domain.
Typical examples are the reduction of thermodynamics to mechanical statistics or the mental reduced to the physical.
Putting aside the long and many-sided discussion, reductionism is interesting because it involves a unified view of science by a sort of hierarchy of particular sciences from the highest to most fundamental ones. It has been considered a sort of regulative idea in the phase of scientific development Schaffner and regarded as a part of the common background of scientists1.
This is precisely the kind of inclination we want to search for, especially in the form of an implicit stereotype. We decide to focus on it as one of the best example of epistemological stereotype to be investigated, both for seeing if it is present in scientific research and to what extent, and to test our main hypothesis on epistemological stereotypes.
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So, we tried to arrange an experimental IAT situation to detect if there are implicit tendencies to a reductionist view or to its contrary, the autonomy of special sciences or the emergentism view; or even the lack of both of them. The experimental sample will consist of male and female adults both involved in the research PhD students, researchers, professors of different disciplines e. Participants will seat in front of a computer screen at a distance of 60 cm. Anderson , p. Participants will be required to categorize both the phrases and attributes by pressing two keys on the keyboard.
The experimental session consist of trials divided into 5 blocks.
In the third block 64 trials, critical block participants will be presented with both phrases and attributes presented one at a time. The categorization will be through the two keys combined with the two categories each e.
In the fourth block 32 trials the phrases of the second block will be presented again, but the matching between the key and the category will be reversed. In the fifth block 64 trials, critical block both phrases and attributes will be presented as in the third block, but reversing the association between phrase and attribute.
This gives rise to some questions: how much is it due to the learning or acquisition of the specific discipline? And how much to how research is carried out? Or to a combination of both? The layout and the setting of this research are not, however, lacking in problems and questions about the topic under investigation — are we dealing with a true stereotype?
Or with a bias? Or with anything in between? Is this just a terminological issue or a substantial one? But we aim to argue how scientific research, depending on the specific discipline, cannot be immune to concepts that are very crucial in philosophy of science as fundamental notions in the structure of scientific knowledge. And if so, the next step could be to establish whether a stereotype such that is useful or an impediment in doing research. References Anderson, P. Science, , Hergovich, A. Current Psychology, 29, — Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, Lippmann, W.
Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York. Nagel, E.
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Nickerson, R. Sarkar, S. Models of reduction and categories of reductionism. Synthese, 91, Schaffner, K. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago. One aspect of lexical competence, i. The second aspect of lexical competence, i. In a recent paper published on Cortex Marconi et al. The authors discuss some patient data that seem consistent with such hypothesis and present an experiment that tests this issue by means of functional MRI.
We will focus on the neural basis of inferential processing, which are particularly puzzling. In the first section, will briefly recall the empirical evidence presented by Marconi and colleagues. The empirical evidence According to Marconi et al. One side of the dissociation, i.
This pathological condition is common in optic aphasia, i. Typically, these patients are excellent at defining, say, the word duck but cannot recover the word when shown the picture of a duck in spite of preserved visual processes. Marconi and colleagues admit that the second side of the dissociation, i.