This is a short introduction to some heuristics to consider when facing pundits, right or left
When facing an argument in which data and/or statistics are being bandied about:
-What was the research question(s) or hypothesis asked or addressed in the study?
Why is this important? A research question(s) or hypothesis can describe the scope of the research. For one, much hinges on the questions asked in the beginning of a study or the hypothesis presented forth. In academe, researchers sometimes focus on a particular aspect that might not have been addressed in previous studies on a topic or in a subject area, thus further contributing new knowledge. Also, this is usually where researchers establish their premise(s)
-What studies have been done on this topic prior to this most recent study?
Reading through as many pertinent studies on a particular topic or subject enhances understanding of how the research has changed over a time or how researchers have noted changing trends and developm