Thanks to all for filling out the survey. There are a lot of responses already!
I'm curious about the perception of the meaning of "psudo-science" used in the post above? As an engineer (PhD) with an undergraduate degree in math, I previously had a negative feeling about this word because the scientific method and well-planned data collection approaches are extremely important to me. However, maybe the usage of the word pseudo-science is not always negative? If it is always negative, what is it about the survey , question design, or the project itself that makes it seem this way? I'm new to the world of human subjects research, so I'm still learning and I'm open to learning new things.
As a general overview, this particular research project was reviewed and approved by a critical Institutional Review Board. It took months of back and forth to get their OK to proceed. Furthermore, one of the world's experts in the Health Belief Model (and in survey design) is just down the hallway from me, so I consulted with this individual numerous times to make sure the questions in the project were properly worded in order to collect usable data. This last part is essential to receive approval from an IRB. Prior to even submitting the proposal, I was required to participate in human subjects research training so that I understood the absolute importance of designing a project that would have positive benefits for society. Hopefully this project design will do this.
The overall project is made up of three major parts: close calls, perceptions of cave-skills training, and beliefs/convictions of experts in caving. Close calls reporting is the first part of the study and is represented by the survey currently being circulated. The second part involves collecting perceptions about formal and informal cave skills training. The third part will involve interviews with caving experts.
The overall study description can be found herehttp://caves.org/safety/research.shtml
As always, please let me know if there are any questions, comments, opinions, feelings, criticisms, or anything. I really do want to be able to take information from this project and turn it into usable training/education outcomes. All feedback is fully welcomed.