This is the program for the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Abstract Details
Activity Number:

119

Type:

Topic Contributed

Date/Time:

Monday, August 2, 2010 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM

Sponsor:

Section on Statistical Education

Abstract  #306653 
Title:

The Undetectable Difference: An Experimental Look at the 'Problem' of pValues

Author(s):

William M. Goodman*+

Companies:

University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Address:

2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON, L1H 7K4, Canada

Keywords:

pvalue ;
significance ;
evidence ;
inference ;
hypothesis testing ;
detectable difference

Abstract:

Despite continuing assumptions by many scientists and journals that pvalues provide a gold standard for inference, counter warnings are not uncommon. The core problem is not pvalues, since "pvalue < a" could merely signal that a critical value is exceeded. When estimating a parameter, we provide a range (confidence interval). Why, when testing a hypothesis about a parameter (e.g. ยต=x) proceed as if "=" entails exact equality? That is not a standard expected for power calculations, where we are satisfied to reject H0 if the result is merely "detectably" different from (exact) H0. This paper explores, with resampling methods, the impacts on pvalues if the null hypothesis is defined as a thick or thin range of values. It also examines, empirically, the extent to which the pvalue may or may not be a good predictor of the probability that H0 is true, given the data in the sample.

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