This study consists of two main parts. Part 1 examines the implications a non-linear view of causality has for deciding which research findings are useful in context, in what ways they can be useful and what factors (other than causal) are needed in order to use them effectively. If causality is complex, and the world we inhabit is equally complex, then there are serious limits to our ability to predict future human behaviour and hence to our ability to know what will happen if we choose one course of action over another. But this limitation should not be taken as a reason for despair: understanding the interacting causal processes that will affect the outcomes of our actions encourages us to ask more questions of research. One of such questions is addressed in Part 2: given that scientific methods and experiments do not offer automatic answers and outputs immediately relevant to the questions addressed, how can we effectively ‘deliberate’ on how to best choose among methods and experiments, and put them to good use? The challenge then becomes how to explain what is involved in deliberating (i.e. formulating judgements well suited for action, over and above using analytic tools) and to show why good deliberation is essential to putting research to good use. The domain of application that gives context to our overall argument is that of child protection.

Improving Child Safety: deliberation, judgement and empirical research

Eleonora Montuschi
Membro del Collaboration Group
2017

Abstract

This study consists of two main parts. Part 1 examines the implications a non-linear view of causality has for deciding which research findings are useful in context, in what ways they can be useful and what factors (other than causal) are needed in order to use them effectively. If causality is complex, and the world we inhabit is equally complex, then there are serious limits to our ability to predict future human behaviour and hence to our ability to know what will happen if we choose one course of action over another. But this limitation should not be taken as a reason for despair: understanding the interacting causal processes that will affect the outcomes of our actions encourages us to ask more questions of research. One of such questions is addressed in Part 2: given that scientific methods and experiments do not offer automatic answers and outputs immediately relevant to the questions addressed, how can we effectively ‘deliberate’ on how to best choose among methods and experiments, and put them to good use? The challenge then becomes how to explain what is involved in deliberating (i.e. formulating judgements well suited for action, over and above using analytic tools) and to show why good deliberation is essential to putting research to good use. The domain of application that gives context to our overall argument is that of child protection.
February 2017
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3696478
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