Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Significance Tests Die Hard

Significance Tests Die Hard We present a critique showing the flawed logical structure of statistical significance tests. We then attempt to analyze why, in spite of this faulty reasoning, the use of significance tests persists. We identify the illusion of probabilistic proof by contradiction as a central stumbling block, because it is based on a misleading generalization of reasoning from logic to inference under uncertainty. We present new data from a student sample and examples from the psychological literature showing the strength and prevalence of this illusion. We identify some intrinsic cognitive mechanisms (similarity to modus tollens reasoning; verbal ambiguity in describing the meaning of significance tests; and the need to rule out chance findings) and extrinsic social pressures which help to maintain the illusion. We conclude by mentioning some alternative methods for presenting and analyzing psychological data, none of which can be considered the ultimate method. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theory & Psychology SAGE

Significance Tests Die Hard

Theory & Psychology , Volume 5 (1): 24 – Feb 1, 1995

Loading next page...
 
/lp/sage/significance-tests-die-hard-mG955boDbt

References (30)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0959-3543
eISSN
1461-7447
DOI
10.1177/0959354395051004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We present a critique showing the flawed logical structure of statistical significance tests. We then attempt to analyze why, in spite of this faulty reasoning, the use of significance tests persists. We identify the illusion of probabilistic proof by contradiction as a central stumbling block, because it is based on a misleading generalization of reasoning from logic to inference under uncertainty. We present new data from a student sample and examples from the psychological literature showing the strength and prevalence of this illusion. We identify some intrinsic cognitive mechanisms (similarity to modus tollens reasoning; verbal ambiguity in describing the meaning of significance tests; and the need to rule out chance findings) and extrinsic social pressures which help to maintain the illusion. We conclude by mentioning some alternative methods for presenting and analyzing psychological data, none of which can be considered the ultimate method.

Journal

Theory & PsychologySAGE

Published: Feb 1, 1995

There are no references for this article.