Sunday, June 9, 2013 10:59:51 AM
[quote">Agreed, 5Cats. I'm often amazed by what the news headlines say (e.g. "Study shows cure for AIDS!"), when, in fact, the study shows an improved reduction of one of the indicators of the virus in a statistically significant portion of test subjects, but, not at all in even a majority.[/quote">
I try to avoid any mainstream media coverage of anything in any way connected with science. It`s so bad that it`s annoying. Maybe it`s incomptence, maybe it`s deliberate misinformation, but either way it`s annoying.
The Daily Mail, which is arguably the worst "news"paper in existence, is particularly noted for its numerous stories about how everything either causes or cures cancer (and quite often both, depending on which story you read).
Sunday, June 9, 2013 10:53:25 AM
And the original questions are fraught with peril as well!! Seeing the -question- is almost as important as seeing the results!
This, in spades. I'n no expert at at but I could easily phrase questions to rig a study to provide almost any results I wanted. People who are doing studies and who want actual information have to go to some lengths to avoid biasing the answers.
It can go beyond the question itself, too. It`s possible to manipulate answers to a question using statements and/or questions before the question itself.
Context matters too. There`s a good example in a scene in Yes, Prime Minister. The PM is asked if he would meet the French halfway regarding the signs in the channel tunnel. He says he would...but the French wanted all the signs in French and the UK wanted them to swap over in the middle, so meeting them halfway would actually be 1/4 of the way along the tunnel.
Sunday, June 9, 2013 9:44:30 AM
Agreed, 5Cats. I'm often amazed by what the news headlines say (e.g. "Study shows cure for AIDS!"), when, in fact, the study shows an improved reduction of one of the indicators of the virus in a statistically significant portion of test subjects, but, not at all in even a majority. In other words, nothing about a cure, or even a finding worthy of reporting in that manner. Perhaps the reason for publication was another indicator entirely. It`s amazing how easily things can be mutated from intent (or how easily things can be manipulated with intent!).