More on the dangers of p values

Here is an interesting new paper in which experienced researchers were asked to make judgements about research results expressed using the NHST approach (p values!).  A free copy of the paper is here, but it is easier to read the summary the authors wrote up here.

Here is how the authors summarize their findings:

“[1] Researchers interpret p-values dichotomously (i.e., focus only on whether p is below or above 0.05).
[2] They fixate on them even when they are irrelevant (e.g., when asked about descriptive statistics).
[3] These findings apply to likelihood judgments about what might happen to future subjects as well as to choices made based on the data.
We also show they ignore the magnitudes of effect sizes.”


I'm a teacher, researcher, and gadfly of neuroscience. My research interests are in the neural basis of learning and memory, the history of neuroscience, computational neuroscience, bibliometrics, and the philosophy of science. I teach courses in neuroscience, statistics, research methods, learning and memory, and happiness. In my spare time I'm usually tinkering with computers, writing programs, or playing ice hockey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *