User:Evarenon/sandbox/Approaches to Knowledge/Seminar Group 3/Evidence



What is an evidence? What is a better evidence?


A "better" evidence is one that is more precise, provides with more robust estimates and answers questions that other methods were not designed or ill-designed to address, like for example meta-analysis in medicine (Lau, Ioannidis and Schmid, 1998). Evarenon (discusscontribs) 17:57, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Over the course of history, the concept of evidence has changed from a looser concept in which personal views were accepted as evidence into a much more evidence-based, concrete and reproducible studies approach. The latter does not refer to individual subjective opinions but rather to what the community of scientists accept as rigorous studies and evidence (Schaffer, 1992). The article also touches upon how social power and hierarchy used to influence who could and who could not provide with evidence so that "the vulgar could not be trusted to know themselves". Schaffer (1992) explores the historical self-experimentation of scientists to form a body of evidence that is somehow more trustworthy and holds greater moral authority. Evarenon (discusscontribs) 17:57, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Nutley, Powell and Davies (2013) argue that the extent to which evidence is considered as valid considered depends on the context in which the evidence is used. The quality of evidence thus relies upon the context, what information the evidence provides and the reason we wish to include the evidence.

How much evidence is enough... in a trial? in sciences?


In criminal trials, there is a debate on whether evidences based on novel scientific methods (vs. ones based on established and accepted scientific methods), can be taken into account in the trial (Frye rule). Moenssens (1984) argued that the Frye rule should be abandoned and that the law community needs to re-think its procedure to determine the admissibility of evidences based on scientific experiences. Since 1993, courts have been debating on whether following the Frye rule or its rival, the Daubert rule, according to which the admissibility of evidence relies on the judiciary community acceptance, rather than on the scientific community acceptance (Cheng and Yoon, 2005). Cheng and Yoon (2005) have demonstrated that, in practice, the use of one rule or the other did not make any significant difference in the US trials' outcomes. Evarenon (discusscontribs) 17:57, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Is evidence enough to prove that something is true?


How to produce reliable evidence? What are evidence-based disciplines (ex: medicine, education, management...)?


Evidence based research is one that places the results of a new study in the context of earlier similar studies. West, King, and al. (2002) argue that the health sector, could reach better decision-making outcomes if it were more evidence-based. Evarenon (discusscontribs) 17:57, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

According to Descartes, it is possible for individuals to access to knowledge via rigorous awake introspection. Following a rigorous logic in performing this introspection is sufficient to make its results true, in the highest sense of the term (SEP, 1997). On the other hand, a careful study of Kafka's Metamorphosis shows that one can provide solid evidence about the world by way of metaphors, allegories and symbols. This could be one way, if not the only one, to provide evidence on the "unexplainable" of human conditions, its contradictions and the tension of "irreconcilability between human aspiration and human reality" (Evans, 2013).

Vidal (2014) argues that mixed-methods that is, the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods, generates more solid evidence in social sciences.

Is solid evidence enough to guide "good" decisions?


In medicine, what matters might not be the actual quantity of evidence but rather how this evidence is translated into proper decisions and solutions to collective issues. Using the knowledge translation framework would be a mode efficient way to translate evidence into solutions, according to David, Davis and al. (2002). Alington (2005) develops a similar argument in the field of education. He argues that evidence is not the only factor guiding political decisions so that, despite overwhelming evidence pointing in a direction, political decisions relying on ideology can lead to another direction. He provides with the example of the Reading Recovery intervention, which efficiency is strongly supported by evidence but that has not been expanded. Evarenon (discusscontribs) 17:57, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Sackett (1997) also argues that evidence-based medicine, which combines current best evidence, individual clinical expertise and the real situation of patients, into decision-making, is more a advanced, effective and safer method. Pfeffer and Sutton (2005) argue that the adoption of evidence-based management, though often being ignored, can substantially change how managers think and act. As a result, the whole organization would be more effective and perform better.

Simons (2003) would disagree with Alington (2005) argues that the relationship between evidence and policy-making as well as practices can be very complex, affected by relationships, ideologies and professional preferences as much as by evidence. Consequently, the evidence-based approach is by no means a panacea for all.

Our reading list

Reference and link The main argument Comparison with the other papers
Kriebel 2009 How Much Evidence is Enough? Conventions of Causal Inference Determining causality varies widely within different scientific disciplines. However, in certain sectors, such as public health, waiting to have enough evidence to judge something to be a cause is inappropriate, as it can lead to harmful policies remaining in place for long periods of time. Therefore, it is more important to focus on the appropriate minimum amount of evidence needed to act as if something were a cause. This amount depends heavily on each case's context and the risks associated with being wrong.
The art and science of clinical knowledge: evidence beyond measures and numbers (Malterud, 2001)


Medicine claims to be grounded in objective, evidence based knowledge, however, other human factors often interfere with evidence, meaning the conclusions formed about patient health may become subjective. This is because the doctor must not only understand the disease objectively, through the basis of clinical evidence, but also the patient themselves. The patient acts as a barrier to objectivity. A diagnosis must always have a human interaction, and where there is human interaction, objectivity is tainted. The article argues that the extent to which medicine is evidence based, is questionable. The argument of West et al.'s paper, suggests that health care decisions are based more on trials than on experience, which could be seen as a contradiction to Malterud's paper. However, this paper doesn't state that decisions are not planned to be evidence based, but rather this is the protocol, but other factors influence a doctor's perception, thus they believe they are making a decision purely on evidence, but this may not actually be the case. A similar notion is suggested by Davis et al.; that evidence based knowledge is often lost in translation. Both papers are concerned with the 'contamination' of the 'pure' empirical knowledge, once it leaves the laboratory environment and finds itself in the human sphere, where option and experience can detract from the empirical findings.
A systematic review of barriers to and facilitators of the use of evidence by policymakers(Oliver et al., 2014)


There is a gap between evidence and practice in policy making, meaning that decisions to implement policies are often not based on evidence. A lack of access to high quality research was found to be a major barrier in the ability of policy makers to make policies from informed decisions, based on evidence. In instances where policy makers and researchers collaborated, evidence based policies were easier to implement. This article suggests that collaboration is important for effective practice. It also implies that good evidence is not enough to form a string conclusion. The evidence may be good, but if it is not communicated correctly, then it will not lead to a good decision being made. This is another example of how human nature interacts in scientific evidence, and where people are involved, objectivity is not possible. This paper suggests similar ideas to both the paper by Malterud, and that by Davis et al. They all suggest that conclusions formed by researchers from the evidence they gather, is not the final stage in knowledge assimilation. In the next stage, this evidence is relayed to other people, and it is in the stage that evidence can become mistranslated, or not passed on at all, meaning that decisions made are not always based on the findings from the evidence, but the perceptions formed in this intermediate stage.
Murdach 2010 What Good Is Soft Evidence? Social workers involved in the preintervention phase of direct social work practice mostly encounter 'soft' evidence (accounts, explanations, interpretations, arguments, and non-verbal communication). As a result, it is crucial for them to correctly evaluate this evidence using seven criteria discussed in the article: significance, coherence, comparison, correspondence, validity, reliability, and reliability.
Summing up evidence: one answer is not always enough

Lau, Ioannidis and Schmid, 1998

Main argument: Study on meta-analysis (Evidence-based analysis)

Strengths outweigh their weaknesses (heterogeneity), even though the weaknesses shouldn't be ignored: meta-analysis can bring precision and a more objective and quantitative view. Uclqffb (discusscontribs) 09:13, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

Main argument is: Compared with traditional reviews and expert opinion, meta-analysis (combining quantitatively evidence from different studies) provides a more objective and quantitative summary of the evidence that is amenable to statistical tools. Meta-analyses can enhance precision, provide robust estimates, and answer questions that single trials are underpowered or were not designed to address.

Does Frye or Daubert Matter? A Study of Scientific Admissibility Standards


Since 1993, courts have been debating on whether following the Frye rule or its rival, the Daubert rule, according to which the admissibility of evidence relies on the judiciary community acceptance, rather than on the scientific community acceptance (Cheng and Yoon, 2005). Cheng and Yoon (2005) have demonstrated that, in practice, the use of one rule or the other did not make any significant difference in the US trials' outcomes.
Admissibility of scientific evidence - an alternative to the Frye rule The Frye rule relates to criminal trials. It states that scientific experts' testimony have to be based on scientific methods that are sufficiently established and accepted in their scientific communities (excluding as proper evidence any evidence based on too novel scientific methods).

Main argument: The Frye rule excludes evidence based on experiences - This study advocates the abandonment of the Frye rule, and the use of new procedures to determine the admissibility of experience used as evidence. Uclqffb (discusscontribs) 09:26, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

Systems to rate the strength of scientific evidence

West, King, and al. (2002)

Main argument: Healthcare decisions are nowadays based on research more than on experience. Main argument: Other types of evaluations could be used to rate the strength of scientific evidence and to see if it is sufficient to make health care decisions based on it - Evidence-based studies could overall benefit the healthcare system. Uclqffb (discusscontribs) 09:54, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
The case for knowledge translation: shortening the journey from evidence to effect

David, Davis and al. (2002)

“Knowledge translation is defined as the exchange, synthesis and ethically sound application of knowledge—within a complex system of interactions among researchers and users—to accelerate the capture of the benefits of research… through improved health, more effective services and products, and a strengthened health care system.”

This article suggests that in many areas the gap between evidence and practice is far too large and that the knowledge we gather as evidence is often lost in translation. Lsythes (discusscontribs) 08:24, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Unlike the other articles this paper focuses on the evidence in the sphere of medicine and health-care. Similarly to article 2 it criticises some aspects of evidence, not in how it is gathered or formed but in how it is used and translated into solutions.
How much evidence is enough evidence?

Alington (2005)

This article discusses how sometimes despite a wealth of evidence for one particular scheme or intervention sometimes there is a sense of 'ideology triumphing over evidence' on behalf of those in power.In this paper the specific case-study of the Reading Recovery scheme in America is used, however the principles remain the same, there is clear evidence but it is being overlooked. He finishes by saying: ' If evidence—scientific research evidence—was the true standard for decisions, then Reading Recovery and other tutoring interventions would be available for every child who could benefit from them.' Lsythes (discusscontribs) 08:24, 15 October 2018 (UTC) This article again focuses on a specific case-study of Reading Recovery and the role which evidence plays in the areas of education. In agreement wit the above article it questions how sometimes evidence is ignored if it does not match the outcome that we want or if the socio-economic factors make this outcome less desirable in some way.
Self Evidence, Simon Schaffer This article examines how the concept of evidence has changed over the course of history from a more loose concept which accepted personal views as evidence into a much more concrete idea held by scientists now. The article also touches upon how in the past social power and hierarchy influenced who could and could not give evidence, 'the vulgar could not be trusted to know themselves'. The main body of the argument focusses on the self-experimentation of scientists to form a body of evidence that is somehow more trustworthy and holds greater moral authority. Lsythes (discusscontribs) 08:24, 15 October 2018 (UTC)  Unlike the other two articles this paper does not criticise the way in which evidence is used but tries to show the ways in which evidence has evolved over time. It focuses mainly on the role of evidence in science-based disciplines and similarly to the other two articles alludes to the ways in which power and social hierarchy can impact evidence and how information which ought to be objective can be presented to support a specific goal.
What is Evidence and What is the Problem? 11:55, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Evidence can be very political and organisations focus heavily on experimental designs to support their arguments. It is important to use the best suited evidence to solve the current issue, as evidence can include scientific data, expert judgement quantitative findings and pure theory: “The lesson from looking across disciplines, questions and contexts, is that different designs may be appropriate for different questions, behaviors, or situations.” Two of the articles (‘What is Evidence and What is the Problem?’ and ‘Science in the court: pitfalls, challenges and solutions’) agree that different evidence can be used to support opposite arguments. They also implicitly agree that different forms of evidence are appropriate at different times and that different forms of evidence are held at different levels of esteem. All of the articles agree that evidence can heavily affect policy and systems. ‘Barriers and bridges to evidence based clinical practice’ and ‘Science in the court: pitfalls, challenges and solutions’ realise that sometimes having data/evidence is not enough… it has to be explained and assessed which could lead to different interpretations and applications.
Barriers and bridges to evidence based clinical practice 11:55, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

This article explores evidence in relation to clinical policy and practice. Eventhough the aim of evidence based practice relies on the most current findings, “practitioners have difficulty finding, assessing, interpreting, and applying” this evidence. Technologies are easy tools to access the most current evidence but the rate at which evidence affects clinical policy is slow.
Science in the court: pitfalls, challenges and solutions\ 11:55, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Scientific evidence is crucial to the functioning of the judiciary system. However, forensic evidence can easily be abused which could lead to “miscarriages of justice”. This is because the evidence alone is not enough… it has to be explained. This scientific evidence could clash with other forms of evidence, for example witness testimony. Different forms of evidence have had varying value. Evidence can be used to argue opposite sides of the story.
Newman, Lex, "Descartes' Epistemology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.) The argument is that it is possible for individuals to access to knowledge via awake introspection.

This article explores Descartes' epistemologic (study of knowledge) thoughts in his Meditations. To summarize, Descartes' goal was to find a method to reach evidence and be certain of it. He applies for this the method of doubt, which consist to start with a broad thought or opinion and then, by using doubt and reason, take away everything you can doubt of until reaching the undoubtable, the evidence. Applying his method, Descartes remarked that it is in fact possible to doubt of a lot of things on which we usually rely on while searching truths, such as our senses (which contradicts the etymological sense of evidence: that can be seen). He will conclude that the only thing he can't doubt of is doubting, leading to the famous Cogito Ergo Sum. Hadrienstrichard(discusscontribs)

Decartes doesn't content himself to study evidence by asking himself questions like "what is evidence", he is actually putting in doubt evidence itself, searching for it methodologically as if it's non-existence was possible. He also shows how true evidence is in fact something rare and very difficult to reach. Finally, Decartes' epistemology changed World's way of pursuing evidence and the method use to explore reality.
What is irrealism? G.S. Evans


In his Journal, 20th century writer Franz Kafka said that "the true reality is always irrealist". Thus, we can ask ourselves if evidence can be find in views of the World that first my seem irrational, such as irrealism. Taking Kafka's Metmorphosis as an example, this paper first explores the different types of irrealism. Then, it argues that in Kafka's irrealism, evidence is shown through allegories and symbols, but not only; these type of works also underlines the evidence of the unexplainable, the evidence of the "irreconcilability between human aspiration and human reality". Hadrienstrichard(discusscontribs) Whereas Descartes tried to find evidence through a very strict and rational method, Kafka finds evidence about our World in irrealist and absurd stories, but these evidence will more concern the unexplainable, our relation to reality, its irrealist aspects etc. To give a more precise idea, we could say Descartes came up with the evidence that he can't doubt he is thinking and thus he exists, but Kafka would more explore the evidence that we have no idea of why we humans are existing and able to think. Kafka and Descartes have in common the fact that in both approaches to evidence, this evidence has ironically nothing evident and must me search either through doubtful analysis of reality either through irrealism.
Isaac Asimov, I Robot, the novel called Evidence, 1946 In the novel called Evidence, the science-fiction author Asimov tells the story of a man running for mayor elections. As suspicions about him being a humanoid robot rises, he accepts to punch someone, proving he isn't a robot as not harming any humans is one of the fundamental laws of robots. However, the end of the novel leaves us with the doubt that the man that got punched was just another humanoid robot created by the same person than the one who created the mayor-robot. Hadrienstrichard(discusscontribs) This futurist novel is interesting in the vision about evidence it gives, or rather about how we maybe trust too much evidence. Here, a consensually approved evidence of the Mayor not being a robot is accepted, but we learn at the end that this evidence might not reveal the truth (we aren't sure about anything at the end). We can conclude from this that a distinction exists between the evidence and the actual truth, which is often more hidden and on which we can never really have complete certitude. However, this novel doesn't claim that we shouldn't keep trusting evidences, it just points out this distinction.
Is evidence evident? Main argument: The body of evidence needs to be seen as a whole. To prove it, mass data and analysis would be required. This article provides specific suggestions to scientists about how to do to make evidence evident. It also addresses the significant of communication that scientists must communicate more proactively about their research and their methods.Uclqlip (discusscontribs) 19:03, 16 October 2018 (UTC) It focus on the general idea rather than the specific methods, discussing science and stressing that science is not delivered at a stroke and that building up evidence takes time, not least for accuracy checks.
How much evidence is enough evidence for a new species? Main argument: This article uses experiments and data to conclude that the choice of outgroup does not affect the phylogenetic results significantly. Presented in the passage is evidence from different sources (genetics, morphometries, discrete morphology, morphological, phylogeny, and folk taxonomy) that supports the existence of a separate species not previously recognized by scientists. Conclusions could not base on just a single criterion but in the concurrent results of different lines of evidence.Uclqlip (discusscontribs) 19:03, 16 October 2018 (UTC) Like article 3, it provides concrete solutions to a specific issue, giving readers an example of enough evidence.
Methodological Approaches to Evaluate the Literature and Establish Best Evidence Main argument: The article provided a detailed description of the methods, focusing on the issue of cervix and describing the process used to develop summary statements and clinical recommendations regarding factors. It used a variety of cross-disciplinary study designs, each which has some unique methodological aspects associated with the issue. Uclqlip (discusscontribs) 19:03, 16 October 2018 (UTC) Like article 2, it follows closely with a specific issue, emphasizing the necessity of cross-disciplinary studies when fixing the problem.
A Comparison of the Persuasive Effectiveness of Qualitative versus Quantitative Evidence The article explored the vividness hypothesis, availability hypothesis and under-utilization hypothesis and how both qualitative and quantitative evidence plays into the hypothesis. The experiment conducted in the article allowed Kazoleas to examine the effect of evidence on the extent of persuasiveness on the individual and the short-term and long-term effects on one's attitude towards the particular topic studied. Guanc (discusscontribs) 19:35, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come The article argues for the necessity of mixed method research and evidence to be used in place of the traditional paradigms. The article compares both research methods and the evidence provided by them and the strength and weaknesses behind using any one method only. Guanc (discusscontribs) 20:36, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Why promote the findings of single research studies? Biases are inherent in single disciplines; across disciplines studies are often biased and flawed, and findings can be misinterpreted, therefore evidence should be transferred across disciplines to bridge the gap. Eeshagrover (discusscontribs) 21:28, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence: a review of possible methods Necessity of using all forms of evidence in order to overcome limitations of traditional ways to answer questions; current methods tend to favour quantitative evidence without taking into account qualitative evidence. Also examines different ways of synthesising types of evidence & questions how to explicitly deal with quantitative evidence within qualitative analysis or vice versa. Eeshagrover (discusscontribs) 21:28, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Headaches and brainwaves: libraries, evidence and research across the disciplines Types of evidence & research that happen within academia, particularly economics and the political economy: working primarily with quantitative indicators. ‘Economic imperialism’ - colonising other social sciences - lack of interest in qualitative evidence such as archives, history records, etc. - where is the limit on quantitative evidence? Also discusses the conflicts over which types of evidence are admissible in different scenarios - what constitutes relevant evidence? Eeshagrover (discusscontribs) 21:28, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Managing Evidence Based Knowledge: the need for reliable, relevant and readable resources Throughout the article, the author discusses the need to restructure the infrastructure in the management of evidence-based knowledge. Due to clinicians not having easy access to the newly found knowledge, which in turn impacts the treatments provided to patients. The article mentions the importance of creating specialised search methods to aid in the communication of their evidence. Additionally, it is argued that authors should place importance on the ways they communicate their findings, as well as the reliability of the information. The author concludes the article by highlighting the importance of taking into consideration evidence during clinical diagnostics but without dismissing other important factors, such as the patients’ values and preferences. Clozinskabrown (discusscontribs) 08:00, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Evidence Based Medicine This article argues the necessity of practising evidence based medicine when treating patients in clinics. It allows the best course of action to be taken as it tailors treatments to individuals and not theories in books. The author argues the importance of not solely relying on evidence based medicine as one may become biased in terms of the treatment. Instead he suggests the need of external clinical evidence which would allow doctors to take a more objective and yet precise view. The author throughout the article argues the importance of evidence based medicine, and states how it is a relatively new subject which will still undergo evolution. Clozinskabrown (discusscontribs) 08:00, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

Seminar group 3 page on evidence