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“Positive”

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on PainScience.com are updated regularly over the years.

Most slightly positive study results are actually just bogus. The weaker a positive result to a scientific test of a treatment, the more likely it is to simply be wrong: not actually positive at all. There are several ways that an allegedly positive study can actually be negative …

So you can see why I’m a little skeptical when someone enthusiastically shows me one paper from an obscure journal reporting a “significant” benefit to, say, acupuncture — which has probably been the subject of more of these “positive” studies than any other treatment.

This is an excerpt from a recent update to my article The “Impress Me” Test: Most controversial therapies are fighting over scraps of “positive” evidence that damn them with faint praise.

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