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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Epi Cont & Ethics.docx

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KIN 330
Peter Hall

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Lecture 3 – Epi Cont. Theory • Definitions that specify relationships among variables and represent a systematic  view of specific phenomena Purpose of theory • 1. To SUMMARIZE existing knowledge • 2. Allow for PREDICTION of events that have NOT YET OCCURRED o ex. understanding climatology allows for predicting tomorrow’s weather • 3. Allow for PREDICTION of phenomena that CANNOT BE DIRECTLY  OBESERVED o ex. newton’s mathematical modeling allowed for prediction of paths of  planets Limitations (deduction) • 1. deductive processes are ONLY sound if the premises upon which they are  based on are sound o ex. Increasesed blood flow to brain enhances subjective alertness (known  moderately conclusively)  ▯Ginkgo Biloba ingestion enhances cerebal  blood flow (known somewhat conclusively)  ▯therefore, GB ingestion  enhances subjective alertness??? • MUST BE combined with inductive reasoning, because we don’t have universal  truths as a starting point in most cases Limitations (induction) • 1. Quality of inferences depends on quality of observations made • 2. Observations are always partial and imperfect representativeness • 3. Conclusions are typically probabilistic o Ex. Those who exercise regularly don’t have many falls  ▯those who are  sedentary are more likely to have falls  ▯conclude that exercise training  programs will reduce likelihood of falling Reasoning and Scientific Method • Process for acquiring new knowledge, incorporating elements of deduction and  induction in a systematic and controlled analysis of the phenomena Models • Specific analogical representation of a theory as applied to a specific instance Testing Theory • Theories are not directly testable why? o We can only test hypotheses that are derived from a theory Ethics in Research We’ll be talking about a Syphilis test (Tuskegee Study) Syphilis • Primary Stage: o Cause: bacterium transmitted via sexual contact o 4­6 weeks to heal o a syphilis sore on the skin (Chancres) • Secondary Stage: o Highly infectious • Latent stage (Untreated) o 1­10 years o relatively asymptomatic o infection is “underground” • Late stage (untreated) o 2­50 years o damage to major organ systems
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