News

  • Written by Fiona Fidler, Associate Professor, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne

Randomised controlled trials are the gold standard in medical research. Researchers divide participants into two groups using the equivalent of flipping a coin, with one group getting a new treatment and a control group getting either the standard treatment or a placebo. It’s the best way to prove that a new treatment works.

But the benefits of randomised trials aren’t limited to medical applications. Big businesses – like Amazon, Google, Facebook and even media organisations – are increasingly using randomised trials to test designs and processes that increase their engagement with users and customers. Every time you Google something you’re probably participating in a randomised trial.

And that world of randomisation is the subject of Andrew Leigh’s new book, Randomistas: How radical researchers changed our world. Leigh is the current federal member for Fenner, and Labor’s shadow assistant treasurer. But prior to his political life he was a professor of economics at Australian National University.

He spoke with the University of Melbourne’s Fiona Fidler about how we should be using randomised trials more to drive decisions and policy in public life and why we might be missing out on better results in social policy because we’re afraid to test our assertions.


Andrew Leigh’s Randomistas: How radical researchers changed our world is out now from Black Inc books. His podcast on living a health, happy and ethical life, The Good Life, is available on Apple Podcasts or wherever you stream your podcasts.

Subscribe to The Conversation’s Speaking With podcasts on Apple Podcasts, or follow on Tunein Radio.

Music

Fiona Fidler receives funding from the Australian Research Council and IARPA.

Authors: Fiona Fidler, Associate Professor, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne

Read more http://theconversation.com/speaking-with-andrew-leigh-on-why-we-need-more-randomised-trials-in-policy-and-law-93282

The Viw Magazine

Three ways to save on rising electricity cost in Sydney

It has been reported that the electricity sector of Australia is in crisis. The electricity bills have been increasing for the last few years, and the sad news is it's unlikely to go down anytime so...

Sheila Mae Vistal - avatar Sheila Mae Vistal

LIfeStyle

People prioritising their relationships with themselves

When one hears the word ‘relationship’, most people automatically think of romantic bonds. Of ...

Leading dentist warns parents against teeth whitening

The teeth whitening industry is experiencing significant growth with many people seeking out produ...

Plastic surgeon aims to re-define beauty

Dr. Anh Nguyen aims to re-define what beauty means. She has brought together 40 of her patients aged...

This Is How to Take Care of Beard during summer

Often, we watch the beards disappear as the cold weather goes into a recession period. The three sum...