Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dear Fertiles, Just Want To Set The Record Straight

Many times in my TTC journey I have heard the words "Stop stressing and poof it will happen." or "I bet if you adopt it will happen, I knew a couple that that happened to them."

Well me being the good student I am (hehe) read this in my research methods textbook today. Ironic don't you think.

So to set the record straight. Your remarks are not scientific at all and your intuition is leading you astray.

In case you are curious my textbook is called: "Methods in Behavioral Research" Tenth Edition by Paul C. Cozby. I quote pages 3-4.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Sincerely and lovingly,

Glad to do this service. Fist Pump.

"Most of us either know or have heard about a married couple who, after years of trying to concieve, adopt a child. Then, within a very short period of time, they find that the woman is pregant. This observation leads to a common belief that adoption increases the liklihood of pregnancy among couples who are having difficulties concieving a child. Such a conclusion seems intuitively reasonable, and people usually have an explanation for this effect:;for example, the adoption reduces a major source of maternal stress, and the stress reduction in turn increases the chances of conception (Gilovich,1991)."

This example illustrates the use of intuition and anecdotal evidence to draw general conclusions about the world around us. When you rely on intution, you accept unquestioningly what your own personal judgment or a single story about one person's experience tell you about the world. The intuitive approach takes many forms. Often, it involves finding an explaination for our own behaviors or the behaviors of others. For example, you might develop an explaination for why you keep having conflicts with a co-worker, such as "that other person wants my job" or "having to share a telephone puts us in a conflict situation." Other times, intuition is used to explain intriguing events that you observe, as in the case of concluding that adoption increases the chances of conception among couple having difficulty conceiving a child."

A problem with intuition is that numerous cognitive and motivational biases affect our perceptions, and so we may draw erroneous conclusions about cause and effect (ef. Fiske & Taylor,1984; Gilovich, 1991; Nisbett & Ross,1980, Nisbett & Wilson, 1997). Gilovich points out that there is in fact no relationship between adoption and subsequent pregnancy, according to scientific research investigations. So why do we hold this belief? Most likely it is because of a cognitive bias called illusory correlations that occurs when we focus on two events that stand out and occur together. When an adoption is closely followed by a pregnancy, or attention is drawn to the situation, and we are biased to conclude that there must be a causal connection. Such illusory correlations are also likely to occur when we are highly motivated to believe in the causal relationship. Although this is a natural thing for us to do, it is not scientific. A scientific approach requires much more evidence before conclusions can be drawn."


  1. Thank you for posting this, I wish more people would realize this and leave us already broken and bitter infertiles alone. Hope you and your family are doing well (hugs).

  2. Yes, thank you. If only everyone could read this and understand.