Liberman Proposes a New Commandment About Odds Ratios
No, let's make it a commandment: Thou Shalt Not Report Odds Ratios. In fact, I'd like to suggest that any journalist who reports an odds ratio as if it were a relative risk should be fired sent back to school.Liberman puts up a thoroughly readable explanation of one of my recent pet peeves and takes readers through a shocking headline report to show how an arithmetical blunder led to the dissemination of a shocking 60% attention-grabber that should have been reported (more accurately) as the less startling 93.5%.
Many of you probably don't know what I'm talking about -- that's why dozens of science journalists disobey this commandment every week. But the basic concepts are simple, and nothing more than simple arithmetic is required to understand them.
Liberman includes further discussion and provides some very informative links to allow for further exploration and understanding.
If you have ever wanted to learn about accurate reporting and odds ratios, grab this opportunity, and estimate for yourself just how pleased you were that you did.