Bias in Research

"Many scientists owe their greatness not to their skill in solving problems, but in their ability in choosing them"  E.B. Wilson

1. tending to yield an outcome more frequently than others in a statistical experiment.
2. deviation of the expected value of a statistical estimate from the quantity it estimates
3. an inclination of temperament or outlook
4. a highly personal and unreasoned distortion of judgement (prejudice)

1. Degree of conformity of a measure to a standard or a true value.
2. Randomness 'result of a mechanical process intended to ensure that individual biases, either known or unknown in nature, do not influence the selection of sample observations

Random error (precision)

Bias error (accuracy)

zealot: fanatical partisan

1. Do US citizens pay more federal tax (as a percentage of income) or less compared to the rest of the industrialized (developed) world?

a. 20 % more ____
b. 10 % more ____
c. the same ____
d. 10 % less ____
e. 20 % less ____

2. If an environmental group conducted field research that promoted the benefits of organic farming and biological controls, could their work be considered partial if it did not simultaneously include other viable options such as the use of commercial fertilizers?

a. yes ____
b. no ____

3. Can the evaluation of X-Product from X-Corporation be evaluated without bias at X-State University if X-Corporation is paying for the research?

a. yes
b. no

4. Should the U.S. Government have an agency that strictly promotes the use of organic production methods?

5. Should we be willing to tolerate environmental groups who promote the production of food and fiber using only organic products, and where the use of commercial fertilizers are entirely excluded?

BONUS: Does it matter if the scientist is from X region of the world versus Y region of the world in terms of how a research problem is resolved?

Question Average:
1 10 10 20 10 -10 -10 10 -10 -20 -10 0  
2 yes yes no yes yes no yes no no yes 6 yes 4 no
3 yes no yes no yes yes yes yes no no 6 yes 4 no
4 no no no yes yes no yes no yes no 5 yes 5 no
5 no no yes no no yes no no yes no 6 yes  4 no