Journal article

A psychometric experiment in causal inference to estimate evidential weights used by epidemiologists

CDJ Holman, DE Arnold-Reed, N de Klerk, C McComb, DR English

Epidemiology | LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS | Published : 2001

Abstract

A psychometric experiment in causal inference was performed on 159 Australian and New Zealand epidemiologists. Subjects each decided whether to attribute causality to 12 summaries of evidence concerning a disease and a chemical exposure. The 1,748 unique summaries embodied predetermined distributions of 19 characteristics generated by computerized evidence simulation. Effects of characteristics of evidence on causal attribution were estimated from logistic regression, and interactions were identified from a regression tree analysis. Factors with the strongest influence on the odds of causal attribution were statistical significance (odds ratio = 4.5 if 0.001 < or = P < 0.05 and 7.2 if P or ..

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