Blog 1: A Flu Shot Gone Wrong?

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This news report covers the story of a young woman who claims to have gotten a rare neurological condition (dystonia) ten days after receiving a seasonal flu shot. Though her claim in this report may seem legitimate, we should question the validity of her statement by applying some of the six scientific principles of critical thinking.
Correlation vs Causation: Did the flu shot actually bring about this disorder? Although the flu shot was taken about ten days before the disorder was noticed, there might have been other factors that played a role in the girl getting dystonia. Maybe it had been an underlying condition that coincidentally started showing symptoms around the same time as when the flu shot was given. There is no strong evidence suggesting that the shot actually caused the disorder.
Falsifiability: Is it possible that the woman is faking having the condition? It definitely is a possibility that the woman twitches and tweaks and slurs her speech intentionally to appear disabled. This being a rare and not very well-researched condition, doctors would not be able to disprove her claim. They would have no choice but to take her word for it because diagnoses are based on observed symptoms (that she could very well be faking).
Ruling Out Rival Hypotheses: Is the flu shot the only possible way the woman could have gotten dystonia? There are multiple possibilities of the woman getting the rare condition another way (besides from the flu shot). The condition could have been genetic, for example (http://www.dystonia-foundation.org/pages/genetics/87.php). Or it could even be possible that the woman is faking the whole thing. We cannot rule out either of those hypotheses because not much about the disorder is known yet (since the condition is so rare).
Though we cannot completely dismiss the woman's claim, through evaluating some of the scientific principles of critical thinking, we know that the claim is not proven.

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