Excessive media interest may distort the results of the newly-launched basic income experiment, warns the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).
“The interest is understandable, but in order not to distort the results the participants should not be approached simply because of the experiment. Also other media attention can undermine the integrity of the results from a research viewpoint,” Olli Kangas, the director of community relations at Kela, writes in a blog with researchers Tapio Räsänen, Miska Simanainen and Jouko Verho.
They remind that the primary objective of the experiment is to examine the effects of the 560-euro basic income on the employment and labour market behaviour of the target group – 25–58-year-old adults. The secondary objectives, they add, include examining the effects of the basic income on a number of other factors, such as the well-being of recipients.
- Finland starts two-year basic income experiment (10 January, 2017)
“As is the case generally with studies in social sciences, the focus of attention is the impact of the basic income on the population at large, not the impact of the basic income on an individual,” they underline.
They also point out that studies in medicine are designed in way that the patients are unaware of their participation in the study because knowledge of participation has been shown to have an impact on the behaviour of participants.
“Studies in the field of social sciences, in turn, have found that people are prone to react to various environmental factors, such as media coverage of the study and interaction with the organiser of the study,” Kangas, Räsänen, Simanainen and Verho say.
Such environmental factors, they argue, must be minimised in order to be able to draw conclusions on the effects of the basic income itself.
“Otherwise, the study results will be partly an outcome of participating in the study, not an outcome of the basic income itself.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Timo Jaakonaho – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi