Equivalent statistics and data interpretation

On: 17. Oktober 2016
In: Allgemein
Views: 498

„Recent reform efforts in psychological science have led to a plethora of choices for scientists to analyze their data. A scientist making an inference about their data must now decide whether to report a p value, summarize the data with a standardized effect size and its confidence interval, report a Bayes Factor, or use other model comparison methods. To make good choices among these options, it is necessary for researchers to understand the characteristics of the various statistics used by the different analysis frameworks. Toward that end, this paper makes two contributions. First, it shows that for the case of a two-sample t test with known sample sizes, many different summary statistics are mathematically equivalent in the sense that they are based on the very same information in the data set. When the sample sizes are known, the p value provides as much information about a data set as the confidence interval of Cohen’s d or a JZS Bayes factor. Second, this equivalence means that different analysis methods differ only in their interpretation of the empirical data. At first glance, it might seem that mathematical equivalence of the statistics suggests that it does not matter much which statistic is reported, but the opposite is true because the appropriateness of a reported statistic is relative to the inference it promotes. Accordingly, scientists should choose an analysis method appropriate for their scientific investigation. A direct comparison of the different inferential frameworks provides some guidance for scientists to make good choices and improve scientific practice.“ (cf. Francis, 2016) []



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