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The 10 Stuff-Ups We All Make When Interpreting Research

Stashed in: Autism, @iflscience

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1. Wait! That’s just one study!

You wouldn’t judge all old men based on just Rolf Harris or Nelson Mandela. And so neither should you judge any topic based on just one study.

If you do it deliberately, it’s cherry-picking. If you do it by accident, it’s an example of theexception fallacy.

The well-worn and thoroughly discredited case of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine causing autism serves as a great example of both of these.

People who blindly accepted Andrew Wakefield’s (now retracted) study - when all the other evidence was to the contrary - fell afoul of the exception fallacy. People who selectively used it to oppose vaccination were cherry-picking.

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