Matthew effect

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Matthew effect2016-12-09T17:48:12+00:00

Matthew effect

Matthew effect image from New Medical Terms

Matthew

MEDSPEAK

An allegorical term applied to the observation that an eminent scientist–e.g., Nobel laureate, or other person of renown, will receive a disproportionate amount of credit for a discovery, despite a relatively small contribution to the ultimate success of a project.

The name comes from the biblical Matthew, one of Christ’s 12 disciples who said, “For to every one who has, more shall be given and he shall have in abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken”. The term has been borrowed by epidemiologists for tabulating the “hard and “soft” risk factors of a disease, as those subjects with more risk factors will be more likely to suffer from the disease.  

Synonym Halo effect  

Reference RK Morton, ISIS 1988; 79:606  

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