Lucy Ferneyhough
BASc Cognitive Science
BLUE Fellow
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Winter
2023
Studying the limitations of objectivity and the value of subjective information
BLUE Fellow
Winter
2023

Background

Objectivity is the goal that is baked into the foundation, process, and results of modern scientific investigation, despite the fact that the human experience is inherently subjective. This seems to me like an unnatural disconnect that causes many important aspects of our lived world to be ignored, which can pose significant challenges in fields like healthcare where improving a person's subjective experience is the central focus. As a result, I want to explore new ways of conceptualizing what objective and subjective really mean, including what the limitations of objectivity are and what is lost when subjective information is dismissed. This project will also involve examining how we can best understand other people's subjective experiences, specifically through the lens of people-watching as a powerful way to approach seeing the world from someone else's perspective, since third-person observation can create space between yourself and your own subjective world in a way that directly interacting with someone does not.

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