When patients are admitted to hospitals, they are sometimes assigned to a single room with one bed and sometimes assigned to a double room, with a roommate. (Some insurance companies will pay only for the less expensive, double rooms.) A researcher was interested in the effect of the type of room on the length of stay in the hospital. Assume that we are not dealing with health issues that require single rooms. Suppose that upon admission to the hospital, the names of patients who would have been assigned a double room were put onto a list and a systematic random sample was taken; every tenth patient who would have been assigned to a double room was part of the experiment. For each participant, a coin was flipped: If it landed heads up, she or he got a double room, and if it landed tails up, a single room. Then the experimenters observed how many days the patients stayed in the hospital and compared the two groups. The experiment ran for two months. Suppose those who stayed in single rooms stayed (on average) one less day, and suppose the difference was significant.
a. Can you generalize to others from this experiment? If so, to whom can you generalize, and why can you do it?
b. Can you infer causality from this study? Why or why not?

  • CreatedJuly 16, 2015
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