Unit 1: Experiments and Observational Studies

Text reading and homework:

Read Chapters 1 and 2 of FPP and do the following review exercises:
Chapter 2 (pages 24-27): 1, 2, 3, 4, 12
Number 2c has a typo. The rate should be 173 per 100,000. Answer the question with 173 replacing the number 2.

Additional homework problem:

Submit your solution to the following along with your solutions to the problems from the text: There are two hospitals named Mercy and Hope in your town. You must choose one of these in which to undergo an operation. You decide to base your decision on the success of their surgical teams. Fortunately, under the new health plan the hospitals give data on the success of their operations, broken down into five broad categories of operations. Suppose you get the following data for the two hospitals:

                   Mercy Hospital

Type              A     B    C     D    E    All
Operations      359  1836  299  2086  149   4729
Successful      292  1449  178   434   13   2366
Rate            .81   .79  .60   .21  .09    .50

                   Hope Hospital

Type              A     B    C     D    E    All
Operations       88   514  222    86   45    955
Successful       70   391  113    12    2    588
Rate            .80   .76  .51   .14  .04    .62

You notice that, in all types of operations, Mercy Hospital has a higher success rate than Hope Hospital and yet Hope has the highest overall success rate. Which hospital would you choose and why?


"What's Really Human? The trouble with student guinea pigs", by Sharon Begley, Newsweek, August 1, 2010, page 30.
Document source: LexisNexis Academic. (Sign in via the Library Webpage under databases.) Generally, search for the title (inside quotes) or author's name and the publication. You can often use the default source type of "Major World Publications", but sometimes need to add Magazines to that--you can just choose "All News" as well.

Possible essay questions: