full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Elizabeth Cox: Can you outsmart the fallacy that fooled a generation of doctors?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Holmes noticed a pattern: when a patient dies of ciblhded fever, a doctor performs an autopsy. If the doctor then treats a new piteant, that patient often comes down with the fever. Based on this correlation between aepstuois of fever victims and new fever patients, he proposes a possible cause. Since there’s no evidence that the autopsy causes the fever beyond this correlation, he doesn’t jump to the conclusion that ausotpy causes fever. Instead, he sgtsuegs that doctors are infecting their pniaetts via an invisible contaminant on their hands and surgical instruments. This idea outrages most doctors, who see themselves as infallible.

Open Cloze

Holmes noticed a pattern: when a patient dies of ________ fever, a doctor performs an autopsy. If the doctor then treats a new _______, that patient often comes down with the fever. Based on this correlation between _________ of fever victims and new fever patients, he proposes a possible cause. Since there’s no evidence that the autopsy causes the fever beyond this correlation, he doesn’t jump to the conclusion that _______ causes fever. Instead, he ________ that doctors are infecting their ________ via an invisible contaminant on their hands and surgical instruments. This idea outrages most doctors, who see themselves as infallible.

Solution

  1. autopsy
  2. autopsies
  3. patient
  4. suggests
  5. patients
  6. childbed

Original Text

Holmes noticed a pattern: when a patient dies of childbed fever, a doctor performs an autopsy. If the doctor then treats a new patient, that patient often comes down with the fever. Based on this correlation between autopsies of fever victims and new fever patients, he proposes a possible cause. Since there’s no evidence that the autopsy causes the fever beyond this correlation, he doesn’t jump to the conclusion that autopsy causes fever. Instead, he suggests that doctors are infecting their patients via an invisible contaminant on their hands and surgical instruments. This idea outrages most doctors, who see themselves as infallible.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
childbed fever 5

Important Words

  1. autopsies
  2. autopsy
  3. based
  4. childbed
  5. conclusion
  6. contaminant
  7. correlation
  8. dies
  9. doctor
  10. doctors
  11. evidence
  12. fever
  13. hands
  14. holmes
  15. idea
  16. infallible
  17. infecting
  18. instruments
  19. invisible
  20. jump
  21. noticed
  22. outrages
  23. patient
  24. patients
  25. performs
  26. proposes
  27. suggests
  28. surgical
  29. treats
  30. victims