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We think of the scientific process as being objective, rigorous, and even ruthless in separating out what is true from what we merely wish to be true, but in fact it’s easy to manipulate results, even unintentionally or unconsciously.”(2) Due to the large influence that external factors have on researchers and their studies, Ioannidis has dedicated much of his career to exposing the unreliability of scientific studies.He declared that “much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies- conclusions that doctors keep in mind when they prescribe antibiotics or blood-pressure medication, or when they advise us to consume more fiber or less meat, or when they recommend surgery for heart disease or back pain- is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong.
The most common types of bias in research studies are selection biases, measurement biases and intervention biases.(11) Selection bias occurs when certain groups of people are omitted purposely from a sample, or when samples are selected for convenience.
Selection bias also may occur if a study compares a treatment and control group, but they are inherently different.
Reliable studies use random samples whenever possible, utilize appropriate sample sizes, avoid biases, and should be conducted by researchers who are not influenced by funding or the desire to seek certain results.
Randomization in studies is critical to ensuring the validity of research.
On the other hand, too large of a sample is not recommended because it can be unwieldy to manage, and it is a waste of time and money if an answer can be accurately found from a smaller sample.(8)Bias is defined as “the combination of various design, data, analysis, and presentation factors that tend to produce research findings when they should not be produced.” (9) “Bias is a form of systematic error, and there are innumerable causes.