The “Hollaback” Video: Facts Are Meaningless Without A Theory

The Hollaback video also shows why “data” without theory can be so misleading—and how the same data can fit multiple theories. Since all data collection involves some form of data selection (even the biggest dataset has selection going into what gets included, from what source), and since data selection is always a research method, there is always a need for understanding methods.

The important methodological point is that the video, without further reflection, can support all three wildly incompatible propositions. In other words, if you just look at the video, you can believe any three, and you will likely choose whichever fits your existing conclusions and prejudices.

This is a point that Drucker made decades ago: Events by themselves are not facts. … Opinions come first. “Facts” mean nothing without a lens through which to view them. All the data in the world is meaningless without a world-view to interpret them. You have to recognize that your opinion, your hypothesis, your world-view, comes first, and *then* you can do something with data.

Via That Catcalling Video and Why “Research Methods” is such an Exciting Topic (Really!) — The Message — Medium.

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