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Re: st: An allowance for clustering should only increase SE's?

From   Ronán Conroy <>
Subject   Re: st: An allowance for clustering should only increase SE's?
Date   Thu, 14 Apr 2005 10:32:05 +0100

Joanne Garrett wrote:

Negative values
imply that people within a cluster (or PSU) are more different from each
other than they would have been had you sampled randomly (i.e., not by
cluster). Intuitively this makes no sense.

As the great diagnostician Charcot was fond of saying, 'ça ne l'empèche pas d'exister'. There is one occasion on which this may indeed be true: where the PSU is a group of people who form a team or social unit characerised by a division of labour. A family, for example, or a community mental health team, will combine people with different specialisations and points of view. Two people randomly sampled from within such a PSU will be more sharply differentiated than two people sampled from the population.

Certainly, I recally that my mother and I were capable of producing a kappa of close to minus one in matters of musical taste.


Ronan M Conroy ( Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics Royal College of Surgeons Dublin 2, Ireland +353 1 402 2431 (fax 2764) -------------------- Just say no to drug reps

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