“An academic
discipline, or field of study, is a branch of knowledge that is taught and
researched at the college or university level” (DBpedia,
n.d.).
The academic world is made up by scholars. Scholars’
are supposed to approach, understand ,and investigate new knowledge, ways of
working, and perspectives on the world around them (Encyclopedia.com, n.d.). Knowledge that has
quality is “close to being accurate, valuable, measuring up to standards with
huge advances in terms of its success in knowledge-seeking or truth-seeking.” (Anon., n.d.) .From my own
understanding for knowledge to be considered to have quality it should go
through historical development. Historical development is the change that
occurs in areas of knowledge dynamic entities over time as conceptual
developments and advances are made in methodology (Baccalaureate,
2015)
.The academic disciplines I will be exploring are human sciences where I will focus
on psychology and natural sciences. I will be looking at the ways in which
understanding and perception of these two fields have changed throughout the years.
The prescribed title will be explored through the use of different knowledge
questions throughout the essay. I will be considering the different
methodologies that have been used in both areas for historical development to
come up with quality of knowledge in each field. Imagination and reason will be used as ways
of knowing.  I believe that for an
academic discipline to come up with knowledge that has quality the duration of “historical
development of that discipline” plays a big role, however there are other
factors that can also lead to quality of knowledge.                                                                                      

One would ask themselves to what extent does historical
development determine the quality of knowledge produced in psychology?  Historical development can be one of the ways which
can be used to determine the quality of knowledge produced in psychology. Because
during historical development the understanding and perception of human
sciences changes over time and this can be because of the new techniques and
methodologies being used to find more information on theories that have existed
in previous years which are being improved as the years come. The Milgram
experiment is one of the famous experiments that have been replicated to see if
the results still come out the same. In 1963 the study
of obedience in psychology was carried out by Stanley Milgram who was a psychologist.
The study mainly focused on the conflict that existed between obedience to
authority and personal conscience (McLeod, 2007). Milgram used his imagination
in being creative because he came up with an experiment that had never been
done before. Participants who were only 40 males participated in the study. The
participants who played the role of the teacher were instructed to press a
button that gave electric shock whenever the learner gave a wrong answer. The
learner was always one of Milligrams colleague who would purposely give wrong
answers and in reality he didn’t receive actual shocks as he was pretending.
Throughout the experiment the teachers kept on obeying to the orders they were
being given despite the pain the learner was going through. So therefore the
teachers kept on increasing the voltage of shocks. At the end of the experiment
Milgram found that 65% of participants who were the teachers continued to the
highest level of 450 volts. All the participants continued to 300 volts
(Fescoe, 2016). After conducting this experiment 18 times, Milgram came to the
conclusion that “humans are conditioned to obey to authority and will usually
do so even if it goes against their natural morals or common sense”(Fescoe,
2016). For Milgram to come to
this conclusion imagination played role as he connected all his results
and  used creative imagination to make
sense in his findings  (Lagemaat, 2015). After 50 years of
this experiment Jerry M. Burger decided to use the knowledge he got from the
Milgram experiment. Burger followed all the previous steps that were used in
Milgram’s experiment so that his experiment would make sense. Therefore, he
made sure he memorized all the steps. However, Burger may have used his
imagination in taking into consideration how the teacher would have felt after
giving the electric shocks therefore he decided to make some changes to some of
the steps. He made 150 volts the top range in his study so this made sure the
experiment would not have any risks to the participants’ well-being (Mills, 2009).So Burger showed
empathy for the participants unlike Milgram. Burger concluded the same results
as Milgram did that participants obeyed at the same rate that they did when
Milgram conducted his original study (Mills, 2009).                                                               Furthermore,
taking into consideration that the experiment was repeated several times in
different years, one would say that the knowledge produced has quality as the
results are accurate to the previous experiments. In addition, quality of
knowledge could be linked to the level of progress in knowledge production such
as the advancement of technology and social progress in the quality of life and
justice in society (Anon., n.d.) That Burger decided
to pay to attention by repeating the experiment and making some changes that
don’t affect the wellbeing of the participants.

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However, the
historical development can also not determine the quality of knowledge produced
in the study of obedience in psychology. Even though the experiment was
repeated by another expert this does not mean that the findings contain quality
knowledge. This could be because the observer effect occurred when the
experiments were taking place. This means that quality of knowledge produced is
limited and doesn’t have sufficient value because when the experiment was taking
place the participants knew that they were being observed and it’s obvious that
their behavior will change since they are being observed.

 

How far did the duration of historical development impact
the production of Knowledge on the effects of Female genital mutilation (FGM)?
Over years the African countries especially have been performing female genital
mutilation as part of their tradition. Not only is it in African countries but
also in Asia, New Zealand, Russia and many other countries. The countries or
religions that perform FGM is because it is often considered as a necessary
part of raising a girl properly and preparing her for marriage, and it is associated
with cultural ideals of femininity and modesty (Anon., 2013).
Over the years scientific research has been done and it has scientifically been
proven that female genital mutilation is “physically invasive, emotionally
damaging, and is associated with complications that may seriously affect the
reproductive health of women and increase the risks for the unborn child” (Khalaf, 2013). So after being
proven that FGM is dangerous there has been wider international involvement to
stop FGM, there has been international monitoring bodies and resolutions that
condemn the practice, growing political support to end FGM and this includes a
law against FGM in different countries(WHO Media centre , 2017).                                                          So society’s perception
towards FGM has been changing over the years due to its advocacy of being harmful
and dangerous. People now tend to use their imagination in imagining such
practice being done on them which brings up emotion of fear in them and
therefore now view the practice of female genital mutilation to be wrong. I
could say that Scientifics used inductive reasoning which is the making of broad
generalizations from specific observations (Bradford, 2017) in coming up with
their findings. For the Scientifics to use inductive reasoning they carried out
a large number of surveys in different countries and after this they collected
the data back, they also made observations on how FGM is carried out and the
materials used and therefore came up with a hasty generalization that FGM is
dangerous. This hasty generalization can be relied on as research was carried
out a reasonable number of times. So duration in historical development has an
impact on the knowledge produced on the effect of FGM as the evidence gathered
through observations or data inspire, provide support to scientific hypotheses
and theories (Anon., n.d.)

However, the duration of historical development did not
have an impact on the production of knowledge of the effects of FGM. The
knowledge that has been produced over the historical development did not really
change as the scientist used hasty generalization which may at times be insufficient
evidence to use when doing research. Sometimes when using hasty generalizations
it can lead to confirmation bias, meaning that the scientists may have decided to
only use the data they preferred in order to support their claims. This
research can be made more researchable so there is space for more improved
research, making it have more quality of knowledge.

 

In concluding, after exploring the ways in which natural
sciences and human sciences which were in psychology and biology. I believe
that the historical development that has occurred in both disciplines has led
directly to the quality of knowledge found in both disciplines. I have realized
that the Milgram experiment findings didn’t really change when it was redone
after many years and this really surprised me as it was carried out by a
different person somehow different techniques. Even though I mentioned some of
the flows that occur when carrying out research in both disciplines, historical
development is the most reliable source for quality knowledge. Imagination and
reason have played a big role in helping the researches in both fields to come
up with their findings.