Wednesday, September 28, 2016

MORE BIAS: Covariation bias in women with a negative body evaluation

Covariation bias was temporarily diminished by use of a computer simulation program which disconnects the two variables. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2016 Mar;50:33-9

Comment: Covariation bias is the over-estimation of a relationship between two variables. In this study, the researchers looked at women who over-estimated the relationship between their own body and negative social feedback. The bias was decreased when computer program contingencies were manipulated so that her own body was rarely followed by negative social feedback. This abstract brings up two important concepts: 
  • COVARIATION BIAS. Be aware that we may over-estimate relationships sometimes.
  • BAD ABSTRACT. This abstract is okay, but in the results section it gives a narrative analysis rather than a statistical analysis. In the results section, readers need to see the scientific, statistical analysis. We are not reading a work of literature, a poem, or a novel. This is about science, and one of the fundamental foundations of science is the statistical analysis of research data. This should be clearly presented in the results section of a scientific abstract. On the plus side, they did include a limitations section. This is optional, but a helpful addition to the standard abstract.
  • The RESULTS section of an abstract is where the statistical analysis of the data is presented.  This section is not for a narrative summary or opinion.