Science-Based Medicine » “Moneyball,” the 2012 election, and science- and evidence-based medicine

A somewhat detailed piece on statistical versus expert approaches, comparing baseball, politics and medicine. Worth reading for those interested in decision-making, and how good evidence and measures can ensure better decision-making, provided that the underlying assumptions of data-based models are sound. Quote:

Finally, one of the biggest impediments to data-driven approaches to almost anything, be it baseball, politics, or medicine, is the perception that such approaches take away the “human touch” or “human judgment.” The problem, of course, is that human judgment is often not that reliable, given how we are so prone to cognitive quirks that lead us astray. However, as Philips et al point out, data-driven approaches need not be in conflict with recognizing the importance of contextualized judgment. After all, data-driven approaches depend on the assumptions behind the models, and we’ll never be able to take judgment out of developing the assumptions that shape the them. What the “moneyball” revolution has shown us, at least in baseball and politics, is that the opinions of experts can no longer be viewed as sacrosanct, given how often they conflict with evidence. The same is likely to be true in medicine.

Science-Based Medicine » “Moneyball,” the 2012 election, and science- and evidence-based medicine.

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