A report from a consensus conference would seem to be somewhat protected from bias. Sometimes that is not the case.


Sources of bias that can affect the report from a consensus conference:

(1) who has been selected or invited to attend

(2) who is able to attend

(3) what is and what is not discussed (the agenda)

(4) who is allowed to speak

(5) what level of agreement is defined as constituting consensus


The last item is of particular interest. Normally one would expect a consensus to have a relatively high rate of agreement. Sometimes a surprisingly low percent of agreement is called "consensus." It often pays to read the fine print.


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