- support democrats or republicans
- prefer evidence-based medicine to reiki, or reverse
- read the Washington Post or the New York Times
- watch CNN or the View
- believe ads which state '3 out of 5 dentists prefer...'
- think Bush has been a great president or deserves impeachment
- have health insurance at work or qualify for Medicaid
- 'care enough to send the very best'
You should know that...
- studies can (if so desired) prove or disprove almost any theory which the authors choose
- who conducts the study is very important to consider when examining the results
- how results are stated can influence the reader's opinion
- many, many PR companies exist to conduct studies with the intent of meeting their clients (see KRC Research who works for PhRMA)
- At KRC Research, our goal is to provide information and insights that can build, drive and enhance communications. Our approach rests on the following principles:
- Good research is well-planned. That means our research planning process is as rigorous as our research implementation, seeking clarity and consensus on research goals and parameters.
- Good research is useable. That means our research is designed to provide clear answers to communications questions—what should be communicated, how, and to whom.
- Good research is understandable. That means we deliver debriefs and reports that are not only thorough and insightful, but clear in meaning and accompanied by clear recommendations.
- evidence is sometimes a hard thing to prove
and please read...
"Lancet Speared" at The Doctor is In (opening paragraph below)
Remember the Lancet study? You know, the one which came out days before the 2006 election, reporting that the Iraq war had caused about 655,000 excess civilian deaths — a number about 20 times larger than most other estimates? It was widely reported in the mainstream media, echoed by politicians and pundits who were quick to use it to further damage the Bush administration politically and heighten opposition to an already
unpopular war. It was also widely cited in Europe and the Middle East as evidence of American brutality and callousness in the execution of the war. Because it was published in a prestigious medical journal, those who were skeptical of its findings were left arguing about arcane epidemiological and statistical flaws which virtually guaranteed that no one would listen. The idea that a medical journal would publish a document almost purely political in nature was, of course, pooh-poohed by all the right people.
Read the rest of this post at The Doctor Is In here.
Read the original article "Data Bomb" in the National Journal.
Finally, keep in mind that messages you hear or read are almost always shared with a purpose.
The purpose in this message from me at this time is to encourage you to question reports and clever studies and to think things over for yourself.