On Real Data

Written and voice over by Mr. Sumangal Haldar

You can listen to the article here or read the transcript below…

We have been trying to bring out the real me, but have failed to do it. Sometimes back as colleagues we used to discuss the flabbergasting difference in attitude and behavior of people in general, as one of us was pursuing the said point of view as his PhD research topic. The starting of discussion was always the denotative meaning of the word, and then it penetrated the deeper layers of meanings. Attitude as per the dictionary is a settled way of thinking and behavior juxtaposes itself keeping the attitude in the background and means; the way in which one acts and conducts oneself. Bewilderingly it means that the way in which we think may or may not be akin to our conduct as a person. Because, had it been the same we would not require the differentiation. 

Now here is where the catch is! As a researcher one needs to penetrate into the attitudinal self and not delve only on the behavioral self. The more the penetration is exact the more comes out pedagogies that are real and that are true. On one such discussions with one of my distant uncles, I was struck with the statement quoted by him, said by a senior scientist of a very reputed research organization: Almost 98% of researches done is bogus (not the exact verbatim but just a quote). Then on what grounds do we base our hypothetical scaffolding? 

As a researcher we used to sit devising and designing questions for our questionnaire forms, to build upon our hypothesis of a quantitative research, and get to that real me-him-her. But at the very onset, when the research subject gets to know that the form is meant for a research, his-her behavioral instincts take over the attitudinal instincts. He-she answers just according to a general consensual perspective of what is right and acceptable amongst the masses. We thought, in designing these questions, that we would be able to fool the research subject and get the real me out but, it was all hypothetical perspective, just as our objective of the research was.  

Our real-me comes out only when we are sure no body is there to poke his-her nose on our real self, in other words only then, when we are alone and the irony is that no physical researcher has been able to access this real-self-data. Lately our partner of solitude; the internet has paved way for the pseudo data collectors to have an access to this real-me data. And do you know what, this is mostly done when we are not at all aware of its sneak peek. In our solitude, without our formal consent we participate and give away this data. Though the extent is a bit limited as of now, but it has potential to be used to reveal all that is real-me.    

The online footprint collectors are doing this job. They collect all the data pertaining to our likings and disliking. This data is raw and real. This goes out in the research market for assessment, observation and interpretation. This data is helping political leaders win elections, marketing analysts use this data to refine their marketing strategies, potential is vast. The real-me-collection stuff is out there doing its job very nicely, but it is finally diminishing the line between what is within and what is without. 

It is good that researchers get to know what they exactly want, and thus strategy making is more concrete and to the point. But again, too much of real-me will lead to too much of truth coming out, and that truth is the naked truth and it is bitter.

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