All models are wrong. Some models are useful.
—George E. P. Box (1919–2013)
Describing and explaining social phenomena is a complex task. Box’s quote speaks to the point that it is a near impossible undertaking to fully explain such systems—physical or social—using a set of models. Yet even though these models contain some error, the models nevertheless assist with illuminating how the world works and advancing social change.
The competent quantitative researcher understands the balance between making statements related to theoretical understanding of relationships and recognizing that our social systems are of such complexity that we will always have some error. The key, for the rigorous researcher, is recognizing and mitigating the error as much as possible.
As a graduate student and consumer of research, you must recognize the error that might be present within your research and the research of others.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Post a very brief description (1–3 sentences) of the article you found and address the following:
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