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Watch the video titled “Anecdotes” at . Explain how anecdotal evidence about
alternative medicine can lead you astray:
Activity 3: Evaluate the Scenarios
As you read the following three scenarios, look for examples of “dirty data”: anecdotes or testimonials, potential
regression to the mean, the use of multiple treatments at once, confirmation bias, and the placebo effect. Underline
the portions of the story that describe these types of dirty data and mark them with the following abbreviations:
AT = anecdotes and testimonials
CB = confirmation bias
RM = regression to the mean
PE = placebo effect
MT = multiple treatments
Scenario1 – A Pain in the Knee
Last year, Michelle tore her ACL during soccer practice. She had surgery to repair it and is back playing this season.
After a particularly rough game, her knee started to swell up more than normal and she was limping. The athletic
trainer gave her some ice and suggested she rest for tomorrow’s practice to see if the swelling would go down. As she
was icing her knee in the training room, her friend Diego, who ran cross-country, came in.
“Hey, Michelle. how’s the knee?” asked Diego.
“Meh,” replied Michelle. “It just started swelling and hurting randomly after our game. I really hope I didn’t re-injure it.
There’s a big tournament this weekend, and I gotta play.”
“Hey, I had some knee trouble a few years ago and acupuncture cleared it right up. You should totally try it. I’m afraid
of needles, but if I didn’t watch, it was fine – it didn’t hurt. I would walk out of the appointment and my knee would
immediately feel better.”
“Maybe, thanks,” responded Michelle.
As she sat in the training room with ice on her knee, she was feeling desperate. “I can’t just sit around and rest,” she
thought to herself. “I need to do something to help my knee. I’m gonna search for a way to get an acupuncture
appointment quickly.” She pulled out her laptop and started searching online for an acupuncture clinic nearby.
Anecdote Evidence explanation:
In this scenario, it is clear that Michele has lack of awareness of what would happen if she pursue playing the soccer
without further noticed from the previous doctor who examined her previous injury. This has been brought her into
severe injuries if has the lack of follow up examination and of without telling their trainer about her knee condition.
Scenario 2 – The Power of Touch
Maria’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago. Luckily, it was caught early, but the tumor was
aggressive and, with the doctor’s advice, her mom was undergoing chemotherapy. Last week, her mom came down with
a high fever. Because her immune system was compromised from chemotherapy, it is s...