How to Lie with Design Research

On October 14, 2009, in Nixon's Classes, public relations, by Barbara Nixon

“Dan Saffer at the sixth annual IIT Design Research Conference, held September 21-22, 2007 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Chicago. ABSTRACT: How to Lie with Design Research: Same Data, Different Findings “There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Thus said Mark Twain. Should we add “Research Findings” to the list? Experience shows that, especially with qualitative research like the type designers often do, two researchers can look at the same set of data and draw dramatically different findings from them. How do we deal with this? If the findings are in conflict, who is correct? Is there a way to make our findings more objective, or is the nature of qualitative research such that subjectivity (what some might call lying) is always necessary?”

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