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Putting my own biases into check

This weekend I was at my second conference in the last two weekends. This weekend was the Train Smarter conference run by the Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences organization.

In it, there was an incredible line up of speakers who are experts in their respective fields. There were discussions on nutrition, strength training, different types of training and coaching. Research was discussed and a position was taken on a specific issues – largely related to the speakers doctoral work.

Sitting in the audience, depending on how close the speaker’s topic was related to my personal stance or bias, the closer I paid attention to certain positions and tried to poke holes in it. This made me really start thinking about my own bias as a researcher and as a clinician. I have my stance that I have taken in my doctoral studies and I started thinking about what I would do if I was wrong? What if my trials showed that what I believed actually wasn’t true?

It made me think back to the reason why I started my PhD. I wanted to be the most up-to-date with the subject of exercise as a modality for independence in older adults. I wanted to add to the body of literature to show that it is possible to load a person, even if they would be labelled as “vulnerable”. Anecdotal changes can only take me so far.

The other thing I need to ensure that I do is keep my mind open. Right now I’m at the beginning of my studies but I can see that as I continue and become more invested in the project that I am spending years of my life on, my opinion can become more fixed and rigid. I feel like that’s a struggle of any researcher. Do you want to find out that what you spent 10 years developing is wrong? Even if admitting that would progress the field that you’ve spent your life contributing too?

It’s an interesting concept and something that I really need to reflect more on.
Can you identify your biases? Even more can you put those biases aside to think open-mindedly to someone who is trying to change your beliefs?

Think about it!
Just my ramblings,

Christina

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