Beyond p values – Dispatches from the ASA symposium on statistical inference

The next couple of posts will be about my experience at the ASA conference on statistical inference: A World Beyond p < .05.

The first session featured Steve Goodman and John Ioannidis (who Skyped in from Australia).  One highlight was Goodman’s explanation of why p values continue to be so prevalent.  He argued that p values are like a currency–we can trade them in for useful things (grants, papers, promotions).  Their value lies primarily in our common belief in them, more than from their specific mathematical underpinnings.  Good analysis.



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.

Posted in NHST, Teaching, The New Statistics

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