Physics 3333 / CFB 3333 Homework 5
Below you have a pseudoscientific claim and a design for an experiment to test the claim. Your task is to study the experiment protocol and determine whether it meets all requirements for a valid test. Remember to determine whether the protocol eliminates deception, ad hoc excuses, etc., so that if a subject passes the test it can only be because there is a real effect.
The Claim: I, Hamilton Bumducker, can diagnose medical conditions by simply looking at the patient; I do not need to touch them. Their clothing does not hinder me at all. I am 100% accurate.
- Test conductor
- Result recorder
- Physician and nurse
- Test Participants
- 10 people (test subjects) exhibiting various medical conditions, none obvious
- 2 healthy controls having no conditions
- Items Required:
- Two rooms adjoining - one for patient preparation, one for the test
- Chairs as needed for everybody in prep room
- Table and chair in test room for Bumducker
- Table and chairs for staff
- Chair for a test subject
- Notepads for data recorder and physician
- Pencils as required
- Small supply of snacks/drinks/etc
- Small cards numbered 1 through 12 plus small container for them
- On the day of the test, the staff will meet at the agreed time in the test prep room. They will check to see that all required materials are on hand.
- The small container will be loaded with the numbered cards.
- The physician or nurse will meet the test subjects at the building entrance at the agreed time and escort them to the test prep room. Each one brings information on their condition.
- Each participant will draw a numbered slip from the container; that becomes their subject number.
- The physician will confirm the medical conditions for each of the subjects and will check the controls for any detectable conditions. The physician will record each one's subject number along with their medical condition; this list is used at the end to determine success or failure. This list will remain in the prep room until the end of the test.
- The physician will prepare a list of the subjects' medical conditions (total 10), then add five more other conditions for a total of 15. This list is to be given to Bumducker; he will choose diagnoses from the list.
- Drinks and snacks are provided for Bumducker. The test conditions are to be as agreeable as possible.
- The test room will be prepared with the table and chair for Bumducker and chairs for the test conductor, data recorder, physician, and one test subject.
- The data recorder will prepare a list of numbers 1 - 12, with space to the right to record diagnoses.
- When everyone agrees that conditions are satisfactory, the test will proceed.
- If Bumducker wishes to pause for a snack or drink, that is allowed. A relaxed atmosphere is the goal.
- The test conductor, data recorder and physician will observe all of the tests.
- The actual test protocol is as follows.
- The test conductor will check with everyone, then signal to proceed.
- The data recorder will announce the next number on the list. The sequence starts with 1 and will proceed in ascending order through 12.
- The physician will go to the prep room and bring in the subject having the announced number.
- The subject will be seated in the chair provided.
- Bumducker may, if he wishes, ask the patient to stand or walk a few steps.
- After sufficient visual examination, Bumducker will announce his finding and the data recorder will copy it into his notebook next to the subject number. Bumducker will check the entry and initial it to indicate correctness.
- The subject will return to the prep room.
- These steps are to be repeated until all subjects have been examined and diagnosed.
- After all patients have been examined, the test conductor will examine the data recorded by the data recorder and verify the data with Bumducker.
- The list of the subjects' numbers and their conditions will be brought from the prep room.
- The two lists will be compared to determine success or failure. To meet his own claim, Bumducker must be 100% accurate.
DO NOT try to design a new experiment for this test. Describe the flaws in THIS protocol.