Monday, August 24, 2009

The truth about lying or contextual reality

I think 'lying' is a little harsh when used in the context of research (or ethnographic research). For example, I have lost count of the number times there has been a difference between something a respondent did and said. They weren't lying as such. I'd prefer to call it 'contextual reality'. And our approach to truth is that there are many truths which need to be disentangled before an insight can be cut.

Here is an excellent, perhaps a little simplistic, article I read in the Guardian recently.


1 comment:

  1. I was just (as in yesterday) thinking about the topic of lying and the differences between how such is handled within the fields of anthropology and business (especially project management). As a spoiler, let's just say that in academic anthropology, especially on the fieldwork side - we expect informants to "lie." I've yet to see anything in PMP's PMBOK about lying weasels (reference to Scott Adam's comic Dilbert)...