4. Ruling out Plausible Rival Hypotheses and Confounding Factors: A Method

  1. Jeremy Howick1,2

Published Online: 23 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444342673.ch4

The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine

The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine

How to Cite

Howick, J. (2011) Ruling out Plausible Rival Hypotheses and Confounding Factors: A Method, in The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444342673.ch4

Author Information

  1. 1

    Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405196673

Online ISBN: 9781444342673

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Keywords:

  • ruling out plausible rival hypotheses - and confounding factors;
  • EBM emphasis on scepticism and uncertainty - magnitude of effects of treatments, or power of diagnostic tests;
  • philosophers, and solutions to problems - justifying claims that we know anything;
  • good evidence, ruling out plausible rival hypotheses;
  • “scientific common sense” intuition, uncontroversial - irrational in taking evidence as support for experimental hypothesis;
  • Woodruff and Dickinson's report, that dexamethasone - “had a dramatic, and probably life-saving effect” on a man in comatose due to malaria;
  • researchers, and “experimental” or “test” groups - comparing outcomes for them with “control” group;
  • participant expectations and dispenser attitudes, differing - as types of performance bias;
  • solutions to problem of confounding factors - factors likely to be irrelevant