Patterns of Reported Age: Lack of Digit Bias (and No Holding)

Stellman, Steven D.

Richard Nichols reported a substantial digit bias (toward multiples of five) in the age distribution of physicians and plaintiffs involved in malpractice claims, and a most peculiar bias toward the single ages of 39 and 59. They advised that "physicians and others concerned with age-related problems should be aware of this when collecting and analyzing data." Since age is nearly always a critical variable in epidemiologic studies, it is important to know whether this is a widespread phenomenon.


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Journal of the American Medical Association

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October 6, 2014