Selective Attention as a Metaphor for the Research Process

Watch.. (if you’re still under your Internet-proof rock and have somehow managed to miss it…)

As I see it, there are two ways of missing the gorilla in the research process.

The intentional

First, the intentional. You throw your Harry Potter invisibility cloak over the big monkey and choose to ignore it. 

This could be entirely your fault. Because a certain strand of evidence doesn’t back your theory,  or you dislike the work of another author so don’t read it, or just don’t bother to do your searching very well.

Or, it could be the fault of your environment. Maybe your institution doesn’t have access to the right materials, or you don’t have the funding to purchase them. Or, you just don’t have the time to give it the attention it deserves.

The unintentional

The cape is on the ape before you knew there was going to be an ape.

It might be the thing you hadn’t considered. Much like one of those choose your own adventure books, your research could take you down a particular route and you entirely miss other options. How many pages down the Google search do you go?

Or, it could be about the technology. Whether it’s the search algorithm prioritising results above others or your organisation/ISP/government filtering certain content from you.

An argument for high quality research

All of which clearly points towards planning the research method being just as important as choosing the topic when it comes to my upcoming dissertation. Time to open that textbook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *