2

The gold standards

Introduction

If you are not an expert in a field of research, how are you going to evaluate the reliability of research findings? As we said in the Introduction, this is not an abstract or theoretical question, of importance only to scientists and other scholars who care about research for a living. The mass media (television, radio, newspapers, magazines and, more recently, internet sites) disseminate major research findings, since they are of interest to and have significant implications for the general public. We base many of our most important decisions on reports about research. Sometimes this research gives us good information and sometimes it does not. Sometimes what research seems to tell us we find out later is ...

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