As a researcher, I’m constantly looking to explore methodological advancements to further research frontiers. This is critical for long-term viability of the findings being published. Recently, there has been growing call for researchers to conduct replication studies and present research endeavors that yielded null-results. While, the importance of studies attempting to examine the validity of published studies cannot be overstated, these efforts are expensive and logistically challenging. Funding is hard to come by and the incentive of proving the proven is limited.
- One of my core research goal for the next decade is to continually postulate on how we can improve the current approaches to conducting quantitative and qualitative research and empirically examine those postulations. For example, as a student of applied psychology, I have come to understand the impacts of individual and group biases that affect the validity and reliability of expert opinion research. I also recognize the need for such research when empirical data sources are unavailable and experimentation is impractical. To address this gap in knowledge, a paper is currently under review that describes the perils of tampering with the traditional research process used to solicit expert opinions and discuss the interaction between research constraints, experimental controls, and cognitive biases. Another paper is under review that examines how cognitive biases can influence risk management process and examines debiasing strategies validated in literature for construction management context.
The hope is that these papers would provide targeted and applicable guidelines to researchers and practitioners to consider when designing their using opinion-based data to make decisions.
Bhandari S., & Hallowell M. R. Identifying and Controlling for Biases in Expert-Opinion Research: Guidelines for Variations of Delphi, Nominal Group Technique, and Focus Groups. (Under Review @ Journal of Construction Engineering and Management)
Bhandari S., and Molenaar K. Using Debiasing Strategies to Manage Cognitive Biases in Construction Risk Management: Recommendations for Practice and Future Research (Under Review @ Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction)