What Is Hidden in My Data? Practical Strategies to Reveal Yule-Simpson's Paradox and Strengthen Research Quality in Health Education Research

Matthew Lee Smith, Heather H. Goltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Yule-Simpson's paradox (YSP) often occurs when statistical data are aggregated from multiple groups, research sites, or time points. If YSP-type effects go unrecognized, health educators risk yielding erroneous and spurious findings or misinterpreting study data. These paradoxical effects may be avoided if health researchers carefully consider strategies to avoid YSP at the onset of and throughout research studies. This article presents strategies to reduce or avoid YSP-type effects across multiple stages of the research process. A practical checklist is also provided to minimize the likelihood YSP will go unnoticed in research studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-641
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • health research
  • quantitative evaluation
  • statistical methods
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

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