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Best places to start researching

Hello everyone,

I have been working in L&D for a few years now and started my CIPD level 5 in L&D last year to gain a more in depth and strategic knowledge of the subject. 

Within the qualification I have come across a number of concepts that appear to be industry standards/current wisdom but I haven't, yet, seen any compelling evidence that they are true. They are often stated as true but not referenced or the references that I can find refer to secondary sources that don't link to original research. Alternatively, I have found original, and preliminary research but none following that.

Some examples:

  1. 70:20:10 model of learning
  2. 7%, 38%, 55% model of communication (Albert Mehrabian)
  3. VAK learning preferences 
  4. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

I am trying to be an evidence based practitioner, which I feel means that I should consult primary literature and assess its merits, withholding my judgement until such a time as that bar for evidence has been reached. However, I am finding it hard to find these primary sources to assess the veracity of these claims.

I would really appreciate it if anyone could recommend:

  1. Some research journals/locations on the internet that are good to get primary literature on topics similar to those above.
  2. Any research specific to the topics I mentioned above 
  3. Any other advice for locating/assessing evidence within the HR/L&D field.

Thank you all very much for your time, have a great week.

Tom Boyesen-Corballis

8479 views
  • Hi Tom, I can't personally add anything to your question but you may like to post this same question onto the discussion forum for Training Zone, I think you'd get some good replies. Link is: www.trainingzone.co.uk
  • Hi Tom, I l guess you know about the Centre for Evidence Based Management (https://www.cebma.org/)?
    If you have a specific query you could always contact Professor Rob Briner - one of the founders (twitter.com/Rob_Briner)
    Rob has been interested in evidence based practice for a very long time. He's a nice guy and very approachable.
  • In reply to Anna:

    Hi Anna,

    I didn't know about it, thank you for the tip. I will make sure to check it out.
  • In reply to Clare Marie:

    Hi Clare,
    Thanks very much, I will give that a go!
  • In reply to Tom:

    Hi Tom, I would endorse Anna's suggestion to contact Rob Briner, one total expert. Just to warn you - don't contact him when you're feeling a tad fragile, he's a bit full on but a really nice guy who would be really glad to help. :-)
  • In reply to Clare Marie:

    You made me laugh Clare Marie. I've known Rob for many years and understand exactly what you mean. I think that's just his massive enthusiasm for his subject coming through. Having said that if you catch him in the bar at the end of a day's conference he's generally more mellow. Perhaps the secret is to offer to buy him a drink!
  • In reply to Anna:

    Absolutely Anna, the comments were meant in a kindly way, his enthusiasm simply can't be understated. I saw him last year when he did a presentation for my local branch and it was really enjoyable although a chance to lie down in a darkened room afterwards wouldn't have gone a miss .... :-)
  • Hi Tom, Google is everyone’s favourite friend. Google Scholar is a great starting point for finding relevant academic publications and has the benefit of ‘Google style’ search, rather than searching through individual journals! Search results are pulled from academic journals and highly referenced material.
  • Hi Tom

    With any kind of psychometric test, the test company should be able to back up their product with stats on its reliability and validity, validity being whether a test really tests what it purports to test and reliability being whether the test result is accurate. Sorry for the tongue twister. Anyone who is qualified to interpret psychometric tests should have covered validity and reliability in their training.

    I have never used MBTI and don't know if they can support their product with evidence but I do know that there are tests on sale (and some very popular ones) that cannot show you stats on reliability or validity.

    The British Psychological Society has more information about this. Try here for starters: ptc.bps.org.uk/tests-and-testing
  • Hi Tom
    Just to add to Elizebeth's great advice, if you wish to interrogate psychometric testers on the notion of "validity" don't neglect to push on the specific aspect of "predictive validity" - the degree to which the test consistently predicts behaviour in line with what it claims to measure, usually invoking a "correlation coefficient" of some sort.
  • Hi Tom,

    I'd second Nivek - having just completed an MBA I would say Google Scholar is an incredibly useful first stop for any academic material. If you sign up for a profile you can save items to your personal library, really useful if you use multiple computers as you can access the items at any time.

    Useful tip: if the title has [pdf] or [html] to the right, then it's (usually) the full paper to read, whereas if there's nothing it (usually) takes you to the journal abstract. Without access to the journal you can't read more than the abstract, but if you copy/paste the title into the search bar you often find that someone else has uploaded a version that you can read.

    Hope this helps.