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The Role of Doubt in Conceiving Research: Reflections from a Career Shaped by a Dissertation

Authors
  • Presser, Stanley
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Jul 29, 2022
Volume
48
Pages
1–21
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-080321-073017
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
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Abstract

The doctoral dissertation often shapes the career that follows it, influencing both opportunities encountered and research conducted. This article describes the ways this has been true for me and then argues that, given the dissertation's importance, graduate programs do not focus sufficiently on strategies for conceiving research. As a result, many students flounder at the dissertation proposal stage. Drawing on the role of doubt in my career and in science more generally, I propose changes in doctoral programs to reduce the problem.

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