Re: This is getting ridiculous!

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Posted by Maureen on October 12, 2002 at 04:55:42:

In reply to: Re: This is getting ridiculous! posted by Zimra on October 12, 2002 at 04:02:16:

If I am
: testing a certain brand of ice cream or soup mix or hair dye, I
: expect to be able to walk into any retail outlet that carries it
: purchase it for testing. This way I would be certain to know that
: what I am testing is an accurate example of what is out on the
: market.

Hi Zirma,

And that is how that test would be controlled for reliability of the
sample. You walked into the store and purchased the sample. You
know exactly where the sample came from because you follow the chain
of custody of that ice cream all the way to the mouth. You didn't
say send me ice cream from Giant Eagle and receive a lot of ice cream
that someone is saying is from Giant Eagle. If you did, the best
that you can say is that you tested ice cream that may or may not
have come from Giant Eagle because as the person conducting the test
that is all that you know as certainty. You can "trust" that the ice
cream actually came from Giant Eagle because the people who sent it
said that it did. But your trust is not the same as certainty. If
you want to be certain then you must control stringently the custody
of that ice cream. If not, then you need to limit what you conclude
from what you tested to only those things you know for certain. And
that becomes limited and unreliable because of those lack of
controls. When you don't control the chain of custody of that ice
cream, how do you know that it was kept at a certain temperature...
didn't thaw out a bit and then was refrozen? You don't know. That
is the problem with not controlling for reliability of the
sample...controling every step of the way that sample of ice cream
before it reaches your taste buds.



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