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Equally ineffective

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on are updated regularly over the years (see updates page).

When a test of two treatments shows them to be “equally effective” — a fairly common conclusion in medical science — people often fail to consider the possibility that they are actually equally ineffective, and that the apparent benefits were actually due to something else entirely: other treatments, the healing kiss of time, good ol’ regression to the mean, and so on. This is why it’s so important to compare treatments to a persuasive placebo.

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