PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Three Arguments for Absolute Outcome Measures

Data from medical research is typically summarized with various types of outcome measures. We present three arguments in favor of absolute outcome measures over relative outcome measures. The first argument is epistemic: absolute measures permit more reliable inferences than relative measures, because relative measures promote the base-rate fallacy. The second is decision-theoretic: absolute measures are superior to relative measures for making a decision between interventions. The third argument is based on probabilistic measures of causal strength: when combining measures of causal strength, absolute measures satisfy desirable properties while relative measures do not. Absolute outcome measures are better than relative measures.

Author Information:

Jacob Stegenga    
University of Victoria

Jan Sprenger    
Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics and Philosophy of Science
Tilburg University


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