By Ben Goldacre

ISBN-10: 0865479186

ISBN-13: 9780865479180

Have you questioned how sooner or later the media can assert that alcohol is undesirable for us and the subsequent unashamedly run a narrative touting the advantages of day-by-day alcohol intake? Or how a drug that's pulled off the marketplace for inflicting middle assaults ever received licensed within the first position? How can normal readers, who aren’t doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, inform what they need to be being attentive to and what’s, good, simply extra bullshit?

Ben Goldacre has made some degree of disclosing quack medical professionals and nutritionists, bogus credentialing courses, and biased medical experiences. He has additionally taken the media to job for its willingness to throw proof and evidence out the window. yet he’s now not the following simply to inform you what’s fallacious. Goldacre is right here to educate you ways to judge placebo results, double-blind reviews, and pattern sizes, that you can realize undesirable technology if you see it. You’re approximately to suppose an awful lot greater.

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Extra info for Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks

Sample text

Can statistical structures be used to capture conditions on which the behavior of people effectively depends? Dealing with this question, one should be aware of a possible confusion. Consider, as a simple example, a variable X : −→ {0, 1}. is a set of people, and X records whether members of live in a household that has available a washing-machine (1) or otherwise (0). For each ω ∈ , X (ω) obviously documents an aspect of ω’s living conditions. However, these are values 22 Notions of structure of a statistical variable, not structures.

Assumptions about distributions 6. Interpretation of residuals Functional models 37 Statistical social research is based on data, values of statistical and relational variables, resulting from observations or interviews. However, rarely are data of interest on their own. The interest most often concerns more general questions which, in some sense, transcend the given data. Two kinds of generalizations must then be distinguished. One idea, often discussed in the statistical literature, takes the cases for which data are available to be a subset of a larger population of cases and intends a generalization to that population.

G. ω’s sex). (c) A third case is different in that P[X ] no longer characterizes situations in which individual actors actually exist. As a modification of the previous example, assume that consists of two classes, 1 , consisting only of boys, and 2 , consisting only of girls. P[X ], the sex distribution in the reference set = 1 ∪ 2 , no longer, then, refers to effective conditions of the individual members in the two classes. The conclusion is that statistical distributions can sometimes be used to define structural conditions; a crucial precondition is, however, that these conditions can be linked to situations in which individual actors (or other kinds of objects) actually exist.

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Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre


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