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data fishing

— Analyses of information gathered in a study without predefined ideas of what to look for


data dredging, data-driven analysis

Full explanation:

Data fishing or dredging refers to analyses that are done without predefined research questions.

There is a high likelihood of misleading findings with data fishing, which results from the play of chance following multiple statistical comparisons.

This problem is made worse by reporting bias; i.e. only reporting findings that are “statistically significant”.

See also:

multiple statistical comparisons

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