Friday, July 23, 2010

Information allergy

Frank Harrell gave a talk at this year's useR! conference on "information allergy." (I did not attend the conference, but it looks like I should have.) Information allergy, according to the abstract, is defined as a two-part problem, which exhibits a willful refusal to do what it takes to make good decisions:
  1. refusing to obtain key information to make a sound decision
  2. ignoring important available information
One of the major areas point out is the refusal to acknowledge "gray areas," which forces one into a false binary choice. I have observed this on many occasions, which is why I usually recommend the analysis of a continuous endpoint in conjunction with a binary endpoint.
At any rate, I look forward to reading the rest of the talk.
Update: the slides from a previous incarnation of the talk can be found here.