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Re: threats to the validity of eyepiece comparison

Started by laservet, 06/19/2006 06:01AM
Posted 06/19/2006 06:01AM Opening Post
With the exception of one review by Jeff Medkeff, all of the eyepiece reviews I've seen are strictly subjective. Since we all use different scopes, different eyes, different brains, and have different biases and expectations, reviews say nothing about how an eyepiece will perform for you. They should be read for entertainment purposes only.

At one time I worked in a lab measuring the thresholds of perception and designing and implementing experiments to measure the effects of bias on perception. I am continually amused to see "reviews" in which people, often experienced people, claim to see differences at a level that is far below anyone's physiological abiliity to detect. Don't underestimate the effect of bias. When it comes to subtle differences, people tend to see what they want or expect to see. It's part of being human, how we make it through the day.

See:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/071675715X/103-0128207-3443818?v=glance&n=283155

http://tinyurl.com/mhvut

for an interesting overview of why we see what we see and do what we do.
Posted 06/19/2006 06:52AM | Edited 06/19/2006 06:54AM #1
"If I hadn't belived it, I would have never seen it!"

Should we consider all of history just "entertainment?" Afterall, it's just the recordings of observers, with all their subjective biases.

It is impossible to find an observer without bias. Anyone saying they are objective is a bias itself.

To say that the observations of another should be for entertainment purposed only, is just plain wrong (both in the moral and scientific contexts).

If you take a close look at many objective double blind studies done in the research community, you will find the same things, human bias, ignorance of confounding variables (more biasing, both inadvertent and purposeful), and inappropriate extrapolations.

In any review of research or observations of another, the appropriate methodology is for the reader to find the areas which are of pertinence to their inquiery and evaluate that in the context of their need. One must be able to extract that which is needed from the documented observation. This is the key skill. This is how all observations provide value.

All observations are good. None are to be taken as entertainment.