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View Diary: Another day in the (gun crazy) U.S.A. (31 comments)

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  •  isn't that where lots of research ideas start? (12+ / 0-)

    Someobody notices that more and more people at the food bank have at least one household member employed; or there have now been 6 frogs with purple teeth found in the same pond.

    On the other hand, if you search this "data set" for dogs, you learn that two victims were walking their dogs, and one was shot by his dog. Search for drugs, and nothing comes up. This would suggest that studying dog owners is a more fruitful path of research on gun violence than studying drug dealers or users.

    (Still, I agree overall with your observation that such descriptive information does point at possible trends or areas worth more exploration)

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:52:47 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. The "je ne sais quoi" -- (3+ / 0-)

      I'm trying to put my finger on it. In scientific (peer-reviewed) circles, anecdotes are general looked down upon -- the old joke is that data is not the plural of anecdote. But there's something that comes from reading about event after event. Not the patterns (as your dogs vs drugs example points out). I haven't figured it out, yet!

      Maybe it's something to do with the fact that our brains are inhabited by anecdotes (or fictions), whether or not we like or are aware of it. We have some image, stereotype, unspoken drama, or scene in our minds, when we hear about "30,000 deaths, 100,000 injuries" from guns. E.g., maybe I unconsciously have in mind that the gun-deaths are mainly from muggings or gang-violence, or that the injuries are mainly hunting accidents. Reading Tom's vignettes helps provide a wider palette of possibilities, filling in and opening up new understandings of gun-violence.

      Again, I'm not sure I've got a handle on it, I'm just beginning to explore this methodological and epistemological aspect.

      •  We've been telling stories from the beginning (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem, Glen The Plumber

        Ever since we started communicating we use stories to understand our world, ourselves, and those around us.

        A team of scientists at Princeton, led by Uri Hasson, had a woman tell a story while in an MRI scanner....They then had a group of volunteers listen to the stories through headphones while they had their brains scanned...When she had activity in her insula, an emotional brain region, the listeners did too.  When her frontal cortex lit up, so did theirs.   By simply telling a story, the woman could plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners' brains
        The Power of Stories  (This is actually a series of articles in Psychology Today on different aspects of story telling)

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:42:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting! Religion plays this role as well imho (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, Catte Nappe

          Hinduism is especially strong on the story-telling front! :-)

          •  Jesus was real fond of parables, too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BvueDem

            Basically just a story tellers approach

            "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

            by Catte Nappe on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:50:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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