The Will Rogers phenomenon refers to a statement made by Will Rogers during the Great Depression. Moving a subgroup of patients from one population to another may impact the apparent outcome.
Statement by Will Rogers:
"When the Okies left Oklahoma and moved to California, they raised the average intelligence level in both states."
(1) A subgroup of patients is moved from Group A to Group B.
(2) The subgroup has an outcome below average for Group A.
(3) The subgroup has an outcome above average for Group B.
(4) The end result will be an apparent improvement in average outcome for both groups without any substantive change.
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