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"More fields should, like particle physics, adopt blind analysis to thwart bias" (Nature)

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Dolphin, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Simon, Sean and Effi like this.
  2. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

    Simon, JaimeS, Sean and 2 others like this.
  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

    It is an interesting concept and could be very valuable. Whether or not one could get it used more in clinical trials I do not know.

    Actually I think I have been doing this for a while for the simple reason that most of the data I analyse are produced by Dr Jo Cambridge and Jo has a habit of not marking the names of the variable on her graphs as they come fresh off the graph programme. She is so used to knowing what they are it does not cross her mind that I have not the faintest idea what she is showing me. I then peer at the graph and try and work out what it might be a graph of and what interesting effect it would therefore show. There have been times when I used to do this to avoid sounding so stupid as to ask what the graph was of but now that I am retired I am allowed to look stupid so I do it for fun and then ask what the heck it is supposed to be about. I tend to find that a sign of a really successful experiment is that I can see just by the shape of things that there is an interesting and robust finding. And if I can work out what the variables are without even having to ask, and what the key time points are then it is even more impressive.

    I am a bit dubious about the idea of deliberately distorting the data, presumably on the basis that statistical relations will remain unchanged with some systematic transformation even if the sign is changed or something. Often the most important things in biological data are kinetic profiles, which vary in certain parameters from individual to individual so that a crude distortion could easily destroy statistical relations completely. But it is likely that if one knew the practicalities of these techniques one could use them sensibly for biological data.
    Simon, Valentijn, Sean and 1 other person like this.
  4. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    The first principle [of science] is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.

    Should be engraved in stone over the entrance to every science based institution, and should be the first & last line in any science based book.
    Simon likes this.
  5. Simon


    Monmouth, UK

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