Mercuri and Barseghyan (2019)

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Mercuri, Mathew and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2019) Method Hierarchies in Clinical Epidemiology. Scientonomy 3, 45-61. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33559.

Title Method Hierarchies in Clinical Epidemiology
Resource Type journal article
Author(s) Hakob Barseghyan, Mathew Mercuri
Year 2019
URL https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33559
DOI 10.33137/js.v3i0.33559
Journal Scientonomy
Volume 3
Pages 45-61

Abstract

Accumulating evidence from diverse fields of inquiry suggests the existence of method hierarchies, where criteria employed by the same epistemic agent constitute a certain preference hierarchy. In this paper, we illustrate the phenomenon of method hierarchy by discussing several prominent studies in clinical epidemiology of coronary artery disease. The current “gold standard” in clinical epidemiology is the randomized controlled trial (RCT) method. Yet, in the absence of studies that satisfy the strict requirement of the RCT method, clinical epidemiologists often relax the requirements of double-blinding, complete follow-up, no treatment switching, and/or randomization. Instead, they sometimes employ less stringent requirements, such as the requirement to account for the potential imbalances between groups through statistical models. This suggests the existence of a certain method hierarchy. However, it is unclear how method hierarchies are to be conceptualized and documented. Specifically, it remains to be seen whether a method hierarchy is best understood as being composed of individual employed methods or as a single composite method with a complex system of if-s and else-s.

Theories

Here are all the theories formulated in Mercuri and Barseghyan (2019):

TheoryTypeFormulationFormulated In
Method Hierarchy (Mercuri-Barseghyan-2019)DefinitionA set of methods is said to constitute a hierarchy iff theories that satisfy the requirements of methods that are higher in the hierarchy are preferred to theories that satisfy the requirements of methods that are lower in the hierarchy.2019
Method Hierarchies Exist (Mercuri-Barseghyan-2019)DescriptiveThere are method hierarchies in the actual process of scientific change.2019

Suggested Modifications

Here are all the modifications suggested in Mercuri and Barseghyan (2019):

  • Sciento-2019-0013: Accept the existence of method hierarchies and the new definition of method hierarchy as a set of methods where theories that satisfy the requirements of methods that are higher in the hierarchy are preferred to theories that satisfy the requirements of methods that are lower in the hierarchy. Also accept the question of conceptualizing method hierarchies. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan and Mathew Mercuri on 24 December 2019.1 The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.


References

  1. ^  Mercuri, Mathew and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2019) Method Hierarchies in Clinical Epidemiology. Scientonomy 3, 45-61. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33559.