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Enroll in the Global Health Research Certificate Program Though it is often assumed that a study’s results are valid or conclusive just because the study is scientific, unfortunately, this is not the case.Researchers who conduct scientific studies are often motivated by external factors, such as the desire to get published, advance their careers, receive funding, or seek certain results.“The goal of randomization is to produce comparable groups in terms of participant characteristics, such as age or gender, and other key factors ...In this way, the two groups are as similar as possible at the start of the study.At the end of the study, if one group has a better outcome than the other, the investigators will be able to conclude with some confidence that one intervention is better than the other.”(6) Though randomization is an important first step for ensuring research validity, randomized studies are not always unbiased or completely reliable.

“If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable.”(5)Since a large number of scientific studies are unreliable, it is important to be able to distinguish which studies are in fact conclusive and reliable.

On the other hand, too large of a sample is not recommended because it can be unwieldy to manage, and it is a waste of time and money if an answer can be accurately found from a smaller sample.(8)Bias is defined as “the combination of various design, data, analysis, and presentation factors that tend to produce research findings when they should not be produced.” (9) “Bias is a form of systematic error, and there are innumerable causes.


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