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any clever clogs out there know what logical inference is? (research sense)

(17 Posts)
strugstu Thu 21-Apr-05 23:30:22

struggling with a research term 'logical inference' anyone know what it means? is it the same as 'logical positivism'? have six research books in front of me (admittedly they are a bit dated, all the library had left) but there is no mention of it. can anyone help???

sallystrawberry Thu 21-Apr-05 23:32:52

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sallystrawberry Thu 21-Apr-05 23:34:04

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strugstu Thu 21-Apr-05 23:38:06

clear as mud sally, i think its me, i just dont understand

sallystrawberry Thu 21-Apr-05 23:38:52

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sallystrawberry Thu 21-Apr-05 23:40:34

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strugstu Thu 21-Apr-05 23:43:02

thanks sally, ur probably right u know what its like, keep thinking i'll just do 10 mins more and an hours gone, and i,m know further on! i might bump this in the morning. how are u anyway?

sallystrawberry Thu 21-Apr-05 23:46:18

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strugstu Fri 22-Apr-05 00:05:49

thanks mate got distracted reading rtk's thread!!

NotQuiteCockney Fri 22-Apr-05 06:37:47

Logical positivism is Wittgenstein. So it's a philosophical approach, and a bit odd, quite like Husserl and all that.

Logical inference is a completely different thing, much simpler. Sallystawberry's first link points to a good page on this. Here is one of their examples:

1 All fruit is tasty if it is not cooked.
2 This apple is not cooked.
3 Therefore, it is tasty.

Once you know 1 and 2, logical inference gives you 3. Logical inference is what I think most people mean when they say "logic". All elephants are grey, Bob is an elephant, therefore Bob is grey. That sort of thing.

What context is this in? (And if you don't need "logical positivism" stay away from it! It's fun stuff, but whenever anyone says to me "I read a philosophy book and went bonkers" it was always Wittgenstein.)

strugstu Fri 22-Apr-05 12:41:24

i'm appraising some research for an assignment, looking at why mothers choose not to breastfeed, the research article says whilst it is not representative of womens experiences there is logical inference. so in this context are they saying ........because some women say they choose not too breast feed because of...xyz -then xyz is the reason why women choose not to breast feed. (sorry if i seem thick !!)

NotQuiteCockney Fri 22-Apr-05 13:40:33

Well, from a logical point of view, the fact "some women choose not to breastfeed because of elephants", only implies "some women choose not to breastfeed because of elephants".

I think them saying "there is a logical inference" is maybe just trying to fudge that their research may not proove anything, on a larger scale? Did they do anything to make sure their sample was representative, in terms of age/education/social class/area of origin?

strugstu Fri 22-Apr-05 13:51:53

thats interesting point.(which i hadnt thought of ) their sample size was first time mum aged from 16 -30 (19) different occupations/social class, no mention of education, all british,18 white , one asian.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 22-Apr-05 14:03:58

That's a tiny sample size. Were they open-ended questions, or were they asked to select from a list of choices?

Was the interview done in person? By what sort of people? In what sort of environment?

strugstu Fri 22-Apr-05 14:17:08

in depth unstructured interviews used to generate rich data. initially open questios were used to persue research themes then followed up by using the participants own words and phrases as a means of eliciting further naration. cant actually find how/who did intervieing from article, but interviews initially conducted in ante-natal clinic, it was a prospective study and i cant work out where they did the follow up interviews. (Am starting to see there may be some weaknessess.....)

NotQuiteCockney Fri 22-Apr-05 14:32:18

Oh, so it's people who decided ahead of time not to BF. How do they know these people didn't change their minds? What about people who thought they would, but changed their minds, or who didn't want to, but also didn't want to discuss it?

The fact they were open-ended questions sounds good. Were the interviews private?

Small sample/deep questions can be useful, but obviously the sample just can't be representative or statistically significant. I'm not an expert in statistics or surveys, but this is an obvious weakness.

Must go do school run. Hope all this helps?

strugstu Fri 22-Apr-05 14:37:34

massive help NQC am really grateful, starting to see wood for the trees so to speak.

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