When people talk about science, both for better and for worse, they are often referring to scientists or experts of all stripes. If it is for the bad, talk about those who make mistakes or deceive. If it is for the better, they speak of geniuses who have changed the world.
However, science is not scientists. In fact, they are concepts, in a way, opposites. Science began to develop precisely because it did not trust scientists, that is, people . Science is like the checklist that the pilot must pass before a commercial flight takes off: because the aeronautical industry does not trust the pilot either.
In the process of research and publication of scientific results there are biases both human and inherent to the same process, among which the following stand out:
- Scientific publication bias : The publication or non-publication of the research results is based on the nature and direction of the results obtained.
- Time-to-publish bias : The rapid or delayed publication of research results, depending on the nature and direction of the results.
- Citation bias : The citation or non-citation of the research results, depending on the nature and direction of the results.
- Language bias : The publication of research results in a given language, depending on the nature and direction of the results.
But perhaps the most important bias, and for which there is a strict procedure in all areas of science, is the experimenter’s own bias when conducting a study. Thus, the blind or masked trial is a basic tool to prevent conscious or unconscious bias within an investigation. Double blind describes an especially rigorous way of conducting an experiment, exclusively with human subjects, in an attempt to eliminate subjective bias on the part of both experimental subjects and researchers.
To understand how a simple experiment between smart rats and dumb rats and their abilities to solve a maze can be skewed by experimenters, you can see what happened in the following video: