Bias is introduced into scientific research in a variety of ways, not least through the individuality of the researcher, her likes and dislikes in modes of working, physical location, research methods, her social background and values, and a host of other possible influential factors. Bias can arise is the design of the investigation, such as sampling errors. Type I and Type II errors are those of omission and commission, respectively, where relevant parameters or influences have been ignored, on the one hand, or not excluded from the experiment on the other. The scientific method has proved invaluable in reducing certain types of bias, but is much weaker in eliminating others.
In the case of medical research, there is concern that studies may be unbalanced because those studied do not constitute a representative sample of the population, and yet the results are used to prescribe treatment for the population as a whole. Medical research on heart disease, for example, tends to be based on younger people, and yet it is amongst older people than its incidence is greatest. An age cut-off is applied which may also reflect the relevance of such studies to women.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.