A German statesmen and writer named JW von Goethe once said, “Doubts grows with knowledge”.Doubt is a strong emotion that some people are naturally born with. Generally, the human brain isfull of complexity and instability as the production of knowledge was also driven by our emotion.Therefore it can be said that human have the tendency to involve subjectivity in perceivinginformations.
Systematically, doubt and uncertainty will exist in our mind as subjectivity make themind to persist knowledge. In my opinion the more knowledge we have, the more we become awareof the things that we still don’t know because I believe that the human brain has its own nature tohave high curiosity. Moreover, the titles are claiming that the more knowledge we have, the moredoubtful we are, can be discussed by referring to areas of knowledge such as History and HumanScience.History is an area of knowledge that is defined as the study of the past. One manifest problem intrying to know the past is that it no longer exist. Moreover, in order to validate the causes in anyevents that had happened in the past, it is essential to have these 3 features in mind; evidence,significance and the explanation.
All of this features can be obtain by primary and secondarysource. Moreover, based from my personal experience, we know that every human that live in 2001must have known about the tragical event of 9/11 attacks in World Trade Center, which have killedmore than 2,606 people. Subsequently there has been many authorities such as the eye-witness,governments and other interest groups whom are trying to make sense the background cause of thistragical event. Furthermore, I was born in 2000 and as a 1 year old kid, I do not have enoughknowledge to understand much about the 9/11 attacks. However as I grow up and become anelementary student where I do have enough knowledge to confidently state that this event wascaused by a group of terrorist called Al-Qaeda. But as I entered the high-school, where I was givena personal task to do a research on 9/11 attacks I found out that, this tragical event can’t certainlyconcluded as terrorism attack because the more I do research about the event, the more doubtful theinformation is.
Since there are a lot of different perspective on the cause of the event such as insideror foreign government intentionally planed the attack. Thus, as my doubt increases, my confidencein the validity of the cause of this historical event based from authoritative source has droppedsignificantly.On the other hand, historical facts is not a subjective matter that can be justified in a simple form oftrue or false. In this condition, it can be said that with or without knowledge, the amount ofconfidence we have in historical facts can’t be distorted by doubts as the history can’t never repeatitself.
But with the existence of evidences, history can be assured. For example, when my teacherasked the class rhetorically “Who is the leader of the Nazi Party?” Everyone would simply answerit by stating the fact that Adolf Hitler is the leader of the Nazi Party. No one can argue with itbecause both primary and secondary resource in documenting the history of Nazi Party is directingtoward the fact that the party was controlled by a Germany leader name Adolf Hitler. Therefore itcan be concluded that with the existence of high evidence will prompt people to have highconfidence to believe in any historical facts.The human sciences is study that is done in the attempt of reducing the mystery of complex humannature by studying human behavior in systematically. Like wise, human science is the same asnatural science, all of the human science journal are done based on observation, measurement andexperiment.
With that being said, journal in human science is not a firm work, it was rather acontinuous work. Even professional psychologist themselves are doubting their work which theywelcome analysis to renew their work. This can be seen through an analysis which was done in2015 that stated 36% of findings from a total of 100 studies in a top 3 psychology journals help up,when the original experiment were rigorously redone. (Carey, 2015)Another example of experienced professional psychologist doubting other medical expert isdemonstrated by Rosenhan Experiment (1973) which the aim of the study is to determine whethermedical professionals are able to tell the sane from the insane based in clinical setting. The studywas done by gathering participants consisting of 3 female and 5 male.
The participant will call thehospital and asked for a diagnosis appointment by using fake names and jobs in order to protecttheir health and employment record. During the appointment all of the participants complained thatthey had been hearing unfamiliar voices of the same sex as they were. The voice was saying thesewords; ’empty’, ‘hollow’, ‘thud’ and it was unclear. These are existential symptoms which arise fromconcerns about how meaningless your life is. They were chosen because there were no mention ofexistential psychosis in the literature.
After the participants admitted to the psychiatric ward, theystop showing signs of abnormality symptoms and act ordinarily. It was noted that the pseudopatients were nervous as they are afraid if their act was caught. Then the pseudo patients were askedto do ward activities; speaking with staff and patients. If they were asked on how they felt by staff,they should answer that they were fine and no longer experiencing the symptoms.
Individually, thepseudo patient had been asked to get out by their own devices by convincing staff they were sane.During this time, the pseudo patients make notes on their observation and this notes was donesecretly, but since no one was bothered, the note taking was done more openly. The pseudo patientobserve the behavior of staff toward patients by approaching the staff member by making a request,in the following form: ‘Pardon me, Mr/Mrs/Dr X, could you tell me when I will be presented at thestaff meeting?’. (or ‘…when am I likely to be discharged?’).
Similar procedure was carried out withStudents at Stanford University with students asking university staff a simple question. This resultswere used to compare. The result of the study shows that psychiatrist was unable to tell thedifference between sane and insane people reliably and most Psychiatrists would normally play safein their diagnosis to avoid outcry when patients were released. Therefore from the example above itcan be concluded that if our personal knowledge increase then the more we have confidence indoubting existed shared knowledge. In other word, being knowledgeable person would also meanyou will have high confidence and doubts in others. So confidence doesn’t only happen when weknow little.On the other hand, when personal knowledge increase the confidence will also increase and doubtdoes not necessarily increase within knowledge.
Based from my personal judgement, the more Ilearn about psychology journal and theory, the more I become confidence when I talk aboutpsychology to my friend or applying it in my school work. For example, I’m going to have apsychology exam in the next 2 days. So I decided to study all of the exam materials starting fromnow. Then during the examination day, I wasn’t nervous about it because I feel that I have preparedenough to take the exam and since my confidence is high, I believe that I was doing well inanswering the questions. Therefore it can be said that being knowledgeable doesn’t mean that I willbecome a skeptical person because doubt does not continuously grow within all knowledge.
Overall, the more knowledge we have, the more we become aware of the things that we still don’tknow. With that being said, doubt as an emotion can be both detrimental or not in the growth ofknowledge because being too skeptical can lead to doubt everything and trust none. While being tooopen-minded can lead to gullibility where a person can be easily deceived by insufficient evidence.While sufficient evidences are usually found in reliable source, however the example above hasshows that some reliable source might not be dependable, as the nature of evidence will always beveiled by subjectivity.