Welcome

Welcome to the ITNS blog, our internet home designed to help students, teachers, and others get the cropped-51h9QryV00L._AC_US160_.jpgmost out of Introduction to the New Statistics. For more information about the book, see the publisher’s page for ITNS here. At that page, click ‘Look inside’ to see the Contents, Preface, and Chapter 1 in full.

What will you find here?

  • Blog posts from Geoff and Bob with musings and new articles related to the New Statistics and Open Science
  • Information about the first book, Understanding the New Statistics
  • Previous versions of ESCI: Use the ‘ESCI’ tab at the top of this page

Looking for instructor resources? These are on the publisher’s companion website for the book here.

Are you a student looking to download ESCI, data sets, flashcards, or other resources?  These are on the publisher’s companion website for the book here.


  • Don’t fool yourself: Facilitated Communication continues to be a cautionary tail - When I (Bob) was an undergrad, I took methods/stats in the psychology department.  I wasn't a psych major, but I wanted to take a class on brain and behavior, and I was told I had to take methods/stats first.  At the time, I had no plans on pursuing a career
  • The persistence of NHST: “Wilfully stupid”? - I recently gave a research talk to Psychology at La Trobe, my old University--although I now live an hour out of the city and rarely visit the campus. I decided to turn things around from my previous few talks: Instead of starting with Open Science then discussing the move from
  • Castles made of sand in the land of cancer research - Not all problems with scientific practice are statistical.  Sometimes, methods and protocols are introduced and accepted without sufficient vetting and quality control.  Hopefully this is rare, but in the biological sciences there is an ongoing worry that too many 'accepted' techniques might not be well founded.  Here is one striking
  • p intervals: Replicate and p is likely to be *very* different! - The Significance Roulette videos (here and here) are based on the probability distribution of the p value, in various situations. There's more to the second video than I mentioned in my recent post about it. The video pictures the distribution of replication p, which is the p value of a single replication
  • Significance Roulette 2 - In my post of a couple of days ago I gave the link to Significance Roulette 1, a video that explains how to generate the roulette wheel for a 'typical experiment', by which I meant an independent groups experiment, N = 32 in each group, with half a standard deviation difference between
  • Significance Roulette 1 - If you run an experiment, obtain p = .05, then repeat the experiment--exactly the same but with a new sample--what p value are you likely to get? The answer, surprisingly, is just about any value! In other words, the sampling variability of the p value is enormous, although most people
  • The long road towards clinical trials registries – Sackler Colloquim on Reproducibility Field Report 4 - Science only works if we have the whole story. This is especially important in clinical trials, where the results of these studies are used to guide medical practice.  Unfortunately, getting the whole story can be difficult--there are strong incentives to bury negative results.  This radically distorts the published information on
  • Replication is the new black, and not only in Psychology: Economics too - There are good folks in many disciplines who are working to encourage Open Science practices. Here's an example from economics: A website that promotes replication. The Network is run by Bob Reed, at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand (earthquake central), and Maren Duvendack in the U.K.   The Network
  • A conference about–wait for it–the p value! But other things too. - In March 2016 the American Statistical Association (ASA) posted online a policy statement about the p value. You can see it here. This was remarkable--for one thing because it was the first time the ASA had made a public pronouncement about a particular statistical technique or concept. The statement I
  • Science Spin – Sackler Colloquim on Reproducibility Field Report 3 - The conference on reproducibility I (Bob) attended in early March was so invigorating I figured I would spread these posts out.  Here's the next installment. Another good talk on the first day was from Isabelle Boutron, an MD PhD at Oxford who has extensively researched scientific spin: making claims about
  • Wise words from Ken Rothman, who is statistical reform royalty - I (Geoff) recently came across an article published in 2014 with the title Six Persistent Research Misconceptions. All six are important, but it's no. 6 that would be most familiar to anyone reading ITNS: Misconception 6. Significance testing is useful and important for the interpretation of data. Some quotes from
  • Today’s mystery word: Apophenia - I (Geoff) learned a new word today: Apophenia  It was in an article about investing and the stock-market. Apparently, there's a whole industry devoted to identifying patterns in the price movements of stocks, then using these to guide when to buy and sell. The writer was emphasising that numerous studies
  • COPE – The committee on publication ethics - Here's a vital organization I learned about through the Sacker colloquium I attended in D.C. in March:  COPE. COPE stands for the Committee on Publication Ethics--it's mission is to help peer-reviewed journal do right in serving their mission--how to handle peer review issues, research misconduct, retractions, etc.  There are training
  • The Unspin Cycle for Science News - When science is digested into news it often ends up distorted--causal claims can be made about correlational data, hype can prevail over caution, etc.  Research shows that a lot of the fault lies with the researchers--when they summarize their research with outsized claims, these are magnified in the press-release and
  • Another disappointing replication result, but with as happy an ending as can be… - A few years back, a paper in Science caught the eye of one of my students, Clinton Sanchez.  Clinton brought me the paper in a state of excitement--it showed 4 different experiments in which very subtle nudges meant to foster analytic/logical thinking produced large decreases in religious belief.  Clinton, who
  • Chance magazine - Yet another interesting resource I learned about from attending the Sackler colloquium in D.C. in early March: Chance magazine.  This is a popular-press magazine and website published by the American Statistical Society.  It's meant to help popularize statistical applications in science. Chance was founded by Steve Feinberg, an influential statistician
  • To Science – Inscription in the dome of the home of the National Academy of Sciences - To science: pilot of industry, conqueror of disease, multiplier of the harvest, explorer of the universe, revealer of nature's laws, eternal guide to truth.
  • The incredible difficulty of making sense of medical data – Sackler Colloquim on Reproducibility Field Report 2 - Here's my second update from the Sackler Colloquium on Reproducibility in Research. For me, the highlight of the first day was David Madigan, who is a statistician at Columbia. David discussed the foibles of observational medical research.  Health care systems generate enormous sets of medical records which can be minded
  • Sackler Colloquim on Reproducibility – Field Report 1 - This week I (Bob) am attending the Sackler Colloquium on Reproducibility in Research.  It's an event put on by the National Academy of Sciences. For the blog this week I'll be posting some of my thoughts on the discussion.  Here's my first field report. First session -- A welcome from
  • p Hacking: More than you ever wish to know - I recently received an email telling me that an article I had reviewed for a journal had achieved 10,000 views. The astonishing thing was that the email arrived less than 3 weeks after the article had been published online! Believe me, not many papers are viewed by so many readers