[IPAC-List] New statement on p-values and statistical significance

Joel Wiesen jwiesen at appliedpersonnelresearch.com
Mon Mar 7 11:07:35 EST 2016



See explanation quoted below.

Joel P. Wiesen, Ph.D., Director
Applied Personnel Research
62 Candlewood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-6040
(617) 244-8859

The Americal Statistical Association just sent out this email:

"Today, the American Statistical Association Board of Directors issued a 
statement on p-values and statistical significance. We intend the 
statement, developed over many months in consultation with a large panel 
of experts, to draw renewed and vigorous attention to changing research 
practices that have contributed to a reproducibility crisis in science.

"Widespread use of 'statistical significance' (generally interpreted as 
'p < 0.05') as a license for making a claim of a scientific finding (or 
implied truth) leads to considerable distortion of the scientific 
process," says the ASA statement (in part). By putting the authority of 
the world's largest community of statisticians behind such a statement, 
we seek to begin a broad-based discussion of how to more effectively and 
appropriately use statistical methods as part of the scientific 
reasoning process.

In short, we envision a new era, in which the broad scientific community 
recognizes what statisticians have been advocating for many years. In 
this "post p < .05 era," the full power of statistical argumentation in 
all its nuance will be brought to bear to advance science, rather than 
making decisions simply by reducing complex models and methods to a 
single number and its relationship to an arbitrary threshold. This new 
era would be marked by radical change to how editorial decisions are 
made regarding what is publishable, removing the temptation to 
inappropriately hunt for statistical significance as a justification for 
publication. In such an era, every aspect of the investigative process 
would have its appropriate weight in the ultimate decision about the 
value of a research contribution.

Is such an era beyond reach? We think not, but we need your help in 
making sure this opportunity is not lost.

The statement is available freely online to all at The American 
Statistician Latest Articles website. You'll find an introduction that 
describes the reasons for developing the statement and the process by 
which it was developed. You'll also find a rich set of discussion papers 
commenting on various aspects of the statement and related matters.

This is the first time the ASA has spoken so publicly about a 
fundamental part of statistical theory and practice. We urge you to 
share this statement with appropriate colleagues and spread the word via 
social media. We also urge you to share your comments about the 
statement with the ASA Community via ASA Connect. Of course, you are 
more than welcome to email your comments directly to us at ron at amstat.org.

On behalf of the ASA Board of Directors, thank you!


Jessica Utts
American Statistical Association

Ron Wasserstein
Executive Director
American Statistical Association"

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