Blog Archives

Telling What’s True About Power, if practicing within the error-statistical tribe

July 29, 2015
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Telling What’s True About Power, if practicing within the error-statistical tribe

Suppose you are reading about a statistically significant result x (at level α) from a one-sided test T+ of the mean of a Normal distribution with n iid samples, and (for simplicity) known σ:   H0: µ ≤  0 against H1: µ >  0.  I have heard some people say [0]: A. If the test’s power to detect alternative µ’ is very low, then […]

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Stephen Senn: Randomization, ratios and rationality: rescuing the randomized clinical trial from its critics

July 24, 2015
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Stephen Senn: Randomization, ratios and rationality: rescuing the randomized clinical trial from its critics

Stephen Senn Head of Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS) Luxembourg Institute of Health This post first appeared here. An issue sometimes raised about randomized clinical trials is the problem of indefinitely many confounders. This, for example is what John Worrall has to say: Even if there is only a small probability that an individual factor is […]

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3 YEARS AGO (JULY 2012): MEMORY LANE

July 23, 2015
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3 YEARS AGO (JULY 2012): MEMORY LANE

3 years ago… MONTHLY MEMORY LANE: 3 years ago: July 2012. I mark in red three posts that seem most apt for general background on key issues in this blog.[1]  This new feature, appearing the last week of each month, began at the blog’s 3-year anniversary in Sept, 2014. (Once again it was tough to pick just 3; please check out others which might […]

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“Statistical Significance” According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (ii)

July 17, 2015
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“Statistical Significance” According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (ii)

Someone linked this to me on Twitter. I thought it was a home blog at first. Surely the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services can give a better definition than this. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Effective Health Care Program Glossary of Terms We know that many of the concepts used on this […]

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Spot the power howler: α = ß?

July 15, 2015
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Spot the power howler: α = ß?

Spot the fallacy! The power of a test is the probability of correctly rejecting the null hypothesis. Write it as 1 – β. So, the probability of incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis is β. But the probability of incorrectly rejecting the null is α (the type 1 error probability). So α = β. I’ve actually […]

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Larry Laudan: “When the ‘Not-Guilty’ Falsely Pass for Innocent”, the Frequency of False Acquittals (guest post)

July 3, 2015
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Larry Laudan: “When the ‘Not-Guilty’ Falsely Pass for Innocent”, the Frequency of False Acquittals (guest post)

Professor Larry Laudan Lecturer in Law and Philosophy University of Texas at Austin “When the ‘Not-Guilty’ Falsely Pass for Innocent” by Larry Laudan While it is a belief deeply ingrained in the legal community (and among the public) that false negatives are much more common than false positives (a 10:1 ratio being the preferred guess), […]

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Stapel’s Fix for Science? Admit the story you want to tell and how you “fixed” the statistics to support it!

July 1, 2015
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Stapel’s Fix for Science? Admit the story you want to tell and how you “fixed” the statistics to support it!

Stapel’s “fix” for science is to admit it’s all “fixed!” That recent case of the guy suspected of using faked data for a study on how to promote support for gay marriage in a (retracted) paper, Michael LaCour, is directing a bit of limelight on our star fraudster Diederik Stapel (50+ retractions). The Chronicle of Higher Education just published an article by […]

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Can You change Your Bayesian prior? (ii)

June 18, 2015
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Can You change Your Bayesian prior? (ii)

This is one of the questions high on the “To Do” list I’ve been keeping for this blog.  The question grew out of discussions of “updating and downdating” in relation to papers by Stephen Senn (2011) and Andrew Gelman (2011) in Rationality, Markets, and Morals.[i] “As an exercise in mathematics [computing a posterior based on the client’s prior probabilities] […]

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What Would Replication Research Under an Error Statistical Philosophy Be?

June 4, 2015
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What Would Replication Research Under an Error Statistical Philosophy Be?

Around a year ago on this blog I wrote: “There are some ironic twists in the way psychology is dealing with its replication crisis that may well threaten even the most sincere efforts to put the field on firmer scientific footing” That’s philosopher’s talk for “I see a rich source of problems that cry out […]

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“Intentions” is the new code word for “error probabilities”: Allan Birnbaum’s Birthday

May 27, 2015
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“Intentions” is the new code word for “error probabilities”: Allan Birnbaum’s Birthday

Today is Allan Birnbaum’s Birthday. Birnbaum’s (1962) classic “On the Foundations of Statistical Inference,” in Breakthroughs in Statistics (volume I 1993), concerns a principle that remains at the heart of today’s controversies in statistics–even if it isn’t obvious at first: the Likelihood Principle (LP) (also called the strong likelihood Principle SLP, to distinguish it from the […]

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