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"Overthinking" a test question.

Johnicle
Posts: 888
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4/23/2012 11:11:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I was asked this T/F question on an exam over a month ago and I'm still not over it. What would you answer:

"Researchers can study anything that exists... TRUE/FALSE"
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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4/23/2012 11:20:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I hate true/false questions because whether a statement is true/false is based on how you interpret it.

I'd say false.
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phantom
Posts: 6,774
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4/23/2012 11:27:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Well everything is made up of atoms, and scientists study atoms all the time so technically...
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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4/24/2012 12:18:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/23/2012 11:11:31 PM, Johnicle wrote:
I was asked this T/F question on an exam over a month ago and I'm still not over it. What would you answer:

"Researchers can study anything that exists... TRUE/FALSE"

Technically they CAN study that exists, whether they do or not is a separate matter. I'd go with true. Specially considering that this is not a all encompassing sentence, as in, this being true does not automatically negate they cannot study anything that does nt exist. I'd definitely go with true.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/24/2012 12:23:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Your goal is not to find the correct answer but the answer that your testers desire from you. So work at it from that angle.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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4/24/2012 12:24:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 12:18:40 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 4/23/2012 11:11:31 PM, Johnicle wrote:
I was asked this T/F question on an exam over a month ago and I'm still not over it. What would you answer:

"Researchers can study anything that exists... TRUE/FALSE"

Technically they CAN study that exists, whether they do or not is a separate matter. I'd go with true. Specially considering that this is not a all encompassing sentence, as in, this being true does not automatically negate they cannot study anything that does nt exist. I'd definitely go with true.

If something exists, but there is no way to discover its existence, then no research can't study it.
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Buddamoose
Posts: 19,448
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4/24/2012 12:25:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The correct answer is 23 pancakes.

Your welcome
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
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"You were the moon all this time, and he was always there to make you shine."

"Was he the sun?"

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Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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4/24/2012 12:40:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 12:24:21 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/24/2012 12:18:40 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 4/23/2012 11:11:31 PM, Johnicle wrote:
I was asked this T/F question on an exam over a month ago and I'm still not over it. What would you answer:

"Researchers can study anything that exists... TRUE/FALSE"

Technically they CAN study that exists, whether they do or not is a separate matter. I'd go with true. Specially considering that this is not a all encompassing sentence, as in, this being true does not automatically negate they cannot study anything that does nt exist. I'd definitely go with true.

If something exists, but there is no way to discover its existence, then no research can't study it.

How would something exist and still there'd be no way to discover it's existence? It has to exist somewhere right? The very fact that it exists somewhere, makes it interact with the surroundings, and researchers can study that interaction. It is possible, not easy, but then the defining part of the question is CAN. They can, if they improve their technology ( this is if we are thinking of the existence of this particle somewhere where we are not technologically able to reach right now) , which is a very vivid possibility.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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4/24/2012 12:50:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 12:40:27 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 4/24/2012 12:24:21 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/24/2012 12:18:40 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 4/23/2012 11:11:31 PM, Johnicle wrote:
I was asked this T/F question on an exam over a month ago and I'm still not over it. What would you answer:

"Researchers can study anything that exists... TRUE/FALSE"

Technically they CAN study that exists, whether they do or not is a separate matter. I'd go with true. Specially considering that this is not a all encompassing sentence, as in, this being true does not automatically negate they cannot study anything that does nt exist. I'd definitely go with true.

If something exists, but there is no way to discover its existence, then no research can't study it.

How would something exist and still there'd be no way to discover it's existence? It has to exist somewhere right? The very fact that it exists somewhere, makes it interact with the surroundings, and researchers can study that interaction. It is possible, not easy, but then the defining part of the question is CAN. They can, if they improve their technology ( this is if we are thinking of the existence of this particle somewhere where we are not technologically able to reach right now) , which is a very vivid possibility.

Can is the present tense. If current technology can't do it, it can't happen. I could happen, but it currently can't. Furthermore, since technology has physical limitations (eg. speed of light, amount of energy and resources in the world/universe, quantinized energy, etc) there are limits to what could be studied even with advances in technology.

Furthermore, whose to say that if something exists it must interact with the system we experience?
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Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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4/24/2012 1:05:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 12:50:13 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/24/2012 12:40:27 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 4/24/2012 12:24:21 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/24/2012 12:18:40 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 4/23/2012 11:11:31 PM, Johnicle wrote:
I was asked this T/F question on an exam over a month ago and I'm still not over it. What would you answer:

"Researchers can study anything that exists... TRUE/FALSE"

Technically they CAN study that exists, whether they do or not is a separate matter. I'd go with true. Specially considering that this is not a all encompassing sentence, as in, this being true does not automatically negate they cannot study anything that does nt exist. I'd definitely go with true.

If something exists, but there is no way to discover its existence, then no research can't study it.

How would something exist and still there'd be no way to discover it's existence? It has to exist somewhere right? The very fact that it exists somewhere, makes it interact with the surroundings, and researchers can study that interaction. It is possible, not easy, but then the defining part of the question is CAN. They can, if they improve their technology ( this is if we are thinking of the existence of this particle somewhere where we are not technologically able to reach right now) , which is a very vivid possibility.

Can is the present tense. If current technology can't do it, it can't happen. I could happen, but it currently can't. Furthermore, since technology has physical limitations (eg. speed of light, amount of energy and resources in the world/universe, quantinized energy, etc) there are limits to what could be studied even with advances in technology.

Furthermore, whose to say that if something exists it must interact with the system we experience?

1. But then technology isn't the only thing needed to study a phenomena. Time travel was studied much much before any such facilitating technology was present. One needs a keen sense of observation, and imagination.

2. They CAN (and will) improve the technology only when they know what improvements it needs. It's like, studying a phenomenon/ or a particle/ anything isn't something that we would measure at a point on time, it is studied over a frame of time, and technology cannot be kept constant over a time frame, that would be a limiting assumption.

3. Even if it interacts with a system we cannot experience, we can still STUDY, or hypothesis about it. We do have a lot of studies on the existence of parallel universe.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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4/24/2012 1:48:37 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/23/2012 11:11:31 PM, Johnicle wrote:
I was asked this T/F question on an exam over a month ago and I'm still not over it. What would you answer:

"Researchers can study anything that exists... TRUE/FALSE"

True...

If it exists, you can study it. That doesn't mean your study will lead to any valuable results. But you can still study it.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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4/24/2012 1:50:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
If you can't observe something (even indirectly), then you can't know conclusively that it exists, and therefore it is not covered by the question.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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4/24/2012 8:47:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 8:46:00 AM, drafterman wrote:
Rule of Thumb: Any T/F question that deals in absolutes is almost always false.

"Never" and "Always" are red flags to me unless it is something specific that they have been trying to drill into your head (e.g. NEVER give out your password), in which case it should already be blindingly obvious.
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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4/24/2012 11:23:54 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 8:46:00 AM, drafterman wrote:
Rule of Thumb: Any T/F question that deals in absolutes is almost always false.

This is actually a very good tip. Usually.
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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4/24/2012 11:26:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Definitely true. Of course they can 'study' it - people study paranormal events and metaphysics all the time.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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4/24/2012 11:29:10 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 11:26:51 AM, CrazyPerson wrote:
Definitely true. Of course they can 'study' it - people study paranormal events and metaphysics all the time.

You cannot study anything that does not exist, that's like comparing studying things to studying nothing. If you study anything other than things, you aren't studying.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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4/24/2012 11:35:03 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 11:29:10 AM, CrazyPerson wrote:
At 4/24/2012 11:26:51 AM, CrazyPerson wrote:
Definitely true. Of course they can 'study' it - people study paranormal events and metaphysics all the time.

You cannot study anything that does not exist, that's like comparing studying things to studying nothing. If you study anything other than things, you aren't studying.

People study the existance of god. Parallel universe. I can research on the existance of unicorns.

A thing doesn't really have to exist to research on it. We can hypothesise about its existance. People study life on different planets.
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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4/24/2012 11:48:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 11:35:03 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 4/24/2012 11:29:10 AM, CrazyPerson wrote:
At 4/24/2012 11:26:51 AM, CrazyPerson wrote:
Definitely true. Of course they can 'study' it - people study paranormal events and metaphysics all the time.

You cannot study anything that does not exist, that's like comparing studying things to studying nothing. If you study anything other than things, you aren't studying.

People study the existance of god. Parallel universe. I can research on the existance of unicorns.

A thing doesn't really have to exist to research on it. We can hypothesise about its existance. People study life on different planets.

If you scrutinize the question, you will notice there is no implied definition of the word 'exist'. Existing just means that an object of study has taken any form, be it an idea. People do not study 'God', they study the idea of it - therefore they are studying something that exists. It would be impossible to study something that doesn't exist, it would be ~studying.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts
Johnicle
Posts: 888
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4/24/2012 11:55:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
It might help if I explain the class a little before I give away the answer and why I think it is wrong. The class is a research methods class (specifically fr mass communications). Essentially, we learned how to come up with surveys and how to study a variety of things (be it an idea or how far someone can be pushed to do something they know is wrong).
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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4/24/2012 11:58:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
That's why testing is valueless in determining intellect. It's best at determining the measurement of successful brainwashing.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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4/24/2012 12:03:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/23/2012 11:11:31 PM, Johnicle wrote:
I was asked this T/F question on an exam over a month ago and I'm still not over it. What would you answer:

"Researchers can study anything that exists... TRUE/FALSE"

False.

Questions on tests like that, which ask about ultimately unrealistic certainties, such as "always," "never," "everything," and so on, are always false.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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4/24/2012 12:05:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Anyway, it was a loaded question to determine how well you're paying attention. Logically, the answer would be false, because they indicated "researchers," which suggests that it would be on a subject about which there is already information, which we all know isn't everything.
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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4/24/2012 12:12:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/24/2012 12:05:28 PM, Ren wrote:
Anyway, it was a loaded question to determine how well you're paying attention. Logically, the answer would be false, because they indicated "researchers," which suggests that it would be on a subject about which there is already information, which we all know isn't everything.

Is this really how school works? Haha, maybe true. But still - Everything is only everything, it cannot be more than that. There is no hint to whether or not they are implying that 'everything' is actually 'every thing' that 'actually' exists in our reality or if they are saying we don't know everything because there exists ~everything? Still, if there exists ~everything it is one of the many things we know about within itself, right? It's kind of a ridiculous question and i can't seeing it being properly true or false because regardless of the set and setting of the class, the question in itself is pseudo-philisophical.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts