[Air-l] groups

Rosanna Tarsiero rosanna at gionnethics.com
Sun Sep 24 14:19:52 PDT 2006

You wrote:
"Thus the possibibility that much of the research does not fit well or
easily such new creations as online assemblages of people such as this one
where time and space are used in novel ways."

Aside from the difference in settings between F2F and online groups, what
puzzles me is *some* research on groups, namely the one picking up members
among volunteer students and putting them to accomplish a task. At least
theoretically there is a possibility that the motivation of a volunteer to
participate in a study and of a person to participate in a "spontaneous"
group concerning something s/he cares about are different. They could
therefore have different results. 

Of course I'm not about trashing such rat-lab groups, but I'm in favor of
applying it ONLY to group which were/are formed in a similar way (ie people
volunteering to accomplish a task that is mandated by somebody else).

Once I incurred in a ludicrous Cochrane review "testing" the effectiveness
of self-help groups by *randomly selecting* its participants. EVERYBODY
knows that what occurs in spontaneous settings is, people read the mission
of the self-help group and self-select in and out. So those findings'
applicability approximates to zero and yet were disseminated as
evidence-based medicine.


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