I’ve painted a grim picture. But anyone can pick out small details in published studies and produce a tremendous list of errors. Do these problems matter?
Well, yes. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t have written this book.
John Ioannidis’s famous article “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False”1 was grounded in mathematical concerns rather than in an empirical test of research results. Since most research articles have poor statistical power and researchers have freedom to choose among analysis methods to get favorable results, while most tested hypotheses are false and most true hypotheses correspond to very small effects, we are mathematically determined to get a plethora of false positives.
But if you want empiricism, ...