I’ve struggled with spelling for most of my life and in still occasionally do pronouncing terribly wrong. (For about 4 books, I pronounced Hermione “Hermy-one” in my head, instead of “Her-my-oh-knee”, for example.) So every time I see the word ‘incongruous’ I tend to get slight shivers of spelling-test related fear.

It is, however, a very good work to describe the findings of many folks when they start to look at research in an area. There are a small number of studies that seem to give a strikingly different answer to others … they are incongruous.

This finding should lead to examining why there are differences of answer appearing. Is it that one study is overwhelmingly large, and the others represent smaller, publication biased estimates? Is one using a completely different comparator treatment or dose? Perhaps their outcome measurement is of a much lower (or higher) quality?

Incongruity in the studies you find should act as a flag for further thinking. Sometimes a reasonable explanation can be posited, and you’ll believe the majority. Sometimes you have to accept that people have found different answers, and that you don’t know why. Then you should step forth with caution. As every wizard knows, what you see isn’t always how life actually is.

  • Archi

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