I am not immune to bias

Feb 17 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Bias is Not Good.  We need to think about it. I am not immune to bias. I know this.  But the problem of bias just hit home, again, for me.

I am reviewing a paper. Right now (and interrupting myself to write this post). The paper is good. Well written. Robust analysis. Interesting and appropriate conclusions. But as I read something was irritating me about the model proposed.  While I was looking for what irritated me, I realized that it was written by someone I really respect. And the irritation seemed less important. Argh.

Now, I am trying to find the irritation so that I can talk about it in the review. Friends do not get cakewalks.

Recognizing bias is important. What to do about it is not always so obvious.



Postscript: I love it when the young people I care about come through. Before I finished reading, I identified the problem I had, and lo and behold, there was a whole paragraph in the discussion addressing the issue, why its a problem, and what can and cannot be done. The authors (alleged, as it is a double blind review) took the most conservative stance on the problem. My recommendation: publish without changes.

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