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Another look at the call to abandon statistical significance

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What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

Abandoning it certainly wouldn’t be easy because so much prior research is built around it.

More than 800 statisticians and scientists are calling for an end to judging studies by statistical significance in a March 20 comment published in Nature. An accompanying March 20 special issue of the American Statistician makes the manifesto crystal clear in its introduction: “‘statistically significant’ — don’t say it and don’t use it.”

There is good reason to want to scrap statistical significance. But with so much research now built around the concept, it’s unclear how — or with what other measures — the scientific community could replace it. The American Statistician offers a full 43 articles exploring what scientific life might look like without this measure in the mix.Bethany Brookshire, “Statisticians want to abandon science’s standard measure of ‘significance’” at Science News

In an era where even medical journals are urged to get woke, abandoning statistical significance could mean abandoning a refuge against Correct nonsense. As Brookshire writes, “Unfortunately, there is no single alternative that everyone agrees would be better for all experiments.” But that might just be what some factions want and need.

Maybe science is over and there is a war for the cultural spoils.

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See also: Pushback against abandoning statistical significance in science

When medical journals get woke… They fight racism, not cancer. We hope no one facing a difficult diagnosis has to listen to someone whose basic mission in life sounds like dumping on herself instead of serving others. .

and

Which side will atheists choose in the war on science? They need to re-evaluate their alliance with progressivism, which is doing science no favours.

One Reply to “Another look at the call to abandon statistical significance

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    I worked in spare parts selection for DoD for… carry the 2… gotta take my shoes off to count on toes… a whole lotta years. And provision of Spare Parts is SUPPOSED TO BE based on mean time between failure (MTBF) times installed population over operating hours per year (some systems only operate 100 hours per year, etc.). But in the real world, MTBF is a wild guess and installed systems get spares that somebody thought they should have. 10 years later, the overstocked spare parts get thrown away as obsolete because no other systems use them.
    But the THEORY of Spare Parts Selection is a great THEORY, and I’m a Certified Professional Logistician (CPL) so I BELIEVE the theory.
    The practical alternative is: we convinced them to give us $10 million for “spares” with no rational explanation; so give me a list of junk that adds up to $10 million so we can spend all the money they gave us so we don’t look stupid. Most folks go with the “practical alternative” because if you “know what the answer is SUPPOSED TO BE”, you don’t wanna be “constrained” by anything as silly as Statistical Analysis.
    I assume that WORKING Biologists use similar approaches.

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