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Misalignment between research hypotheses and statistical hypotheses – A threat to evidence-based medicine?

Lawler, Insa and Zimmermann, Georg (2019) Misalignment between research hypotheses and statistical hypotheses – A threat to evidence-based medicine? In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Evidence-based medicine frequently uses statistical hypothesis testing. In this paradigm, data can only disconfirm a research hypothesis’ competitors: One tests the negation of a statistical hypothesis that is supposed to correspond to the research hypothesis. In practice, these hypotheses are often misaligned. For instance, directional research hypotheses are often paired with non-directional statistical hypotheses. Prima facie, one cannot gain proper evidence for one’s research hypothesis employing a misaligned statistical hypothesis. This paper sheds lights on the nature of and the reasons for such misalignments and it provides a thorough analysis of whether they pose a threat to evidence-based medicine. The upshots are that the misalignments are often hidden for clinicians and that although some cases of misalignments can be partially counterbalanced, the overall threat is non-negligible. The counterbalances either lead to methodological inadequacy, loss of statistical power, or involve a lack of information that could be crucial for decision making. This result casts doubt on various findings of medical studies in addition to issues associated with under-powered studies or the replication crisis.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lawler, Insairlawler@uncg.edu0000-0002-1250-6020
Zimmermann, Georggeorg.zimmermann@sbg.ac.at
Keywords: Research hypotheses; Statistical hypothesis testing; Null hypotheses; Evidence-based medicine; Clinical decision making
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Clinical Trials
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Insa Lawler
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2019 03:31
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2019 03:31
Item ID: 16288
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11245...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11245-019-09667-0
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Clinical Trials
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: August 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16288

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