Bias refers to a methodological flaw in a research study which prevents generalization of a sample population out to the entire population. It is a systematic error.

Errors in radiology research studies fall into one of two categories:

  • random error
  • systematic error / bias

Random error cannot be controlled, but it can be accounted for with the correct statistical technique. An appropriately low p-value helps us be confident that the results of our data are not due to random error (<5% chance, usually).

Systematic error / bias, on the other hand, cannot be accounted for with statistics. Nonrandom clustering of variable attributes can flaw our ability to generalise out to the population. So can nonrandom gathering of the data by the radiology researcher.

There are multiple opportunities for bias to creep into in a radiology study, some obvious and some subtle. It is the researcher's goal to eliminate any large biases and control or account for any smaller ones.

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rID: 35028
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Biases

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