chapter  13
2 Pages

Whom Can You Trust?

Whengatheringdataforstatisticalanalysis,researchersmakenumerousassumptions.Infact,mostareprobablymadeatthesubconsciouslevel.Here'san example:Manyyearsago,ProfessorGeorgeMahlhadaresearchassistantadministersometestsinapilotstudythatwouldextendhisworkintoanewarea.The resultswereexcitinglyconsistentwiththeprofessor'shypothesis.Thestatistics collectedbytheassistantwouldhavebeenpublishedexceptforthefactthatwhen heaskedtwoadditionalassistantstorepeatthetests,theresultsdidnotagreewith theoriginalassistant's.Notethattheprofessorwascarefulandconductedreplications(repetitionsofthestudytoseeifthesameresultsareobtained).