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Useful phrase? "HARKing: Hypothesizing After the Results are Known"

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Dolphin, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    I just came across the phrase "harking" in a James C. Coyne blog:



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  2. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    PACE could be guilty of this? The recovery paper's introduction mentions defining operationalized criteria for recovery on relevant domains and then calculating the proportion of participants meeting each criteria and the composite criteria.

    They reveal they had a previous definition of recovery, but abandoned it and changed it in light of new population data (which they previously admitted was suggested to them by a peer reviewer of the Lancet paper).

    They claimed to have changed the definition of recovery before doing the analysis for this paper, but then fail to admit that some of the new criteria were already derived and described as post-hoc in a previous paper 2 years before.
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  3. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    The physicist Richard Feynman insisted his students and colleagues (on the theorist side of physics) calculated results and made firm predictions before they saw the experimental data, precisely because it was too easy to do a post-hoc fit.

    His view was that this was the only way to keep scientists honest and properly test their theorising.

    Which is why I regard the huge discrepancy between the predictions made by PACE and the actual results, plus independently the post-hoc manipulations, as both central to any assessment of PACE, and very damning of it.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
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