ResearchPad - solicited-commentary https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[In Defense of <i>P</i> Values]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N29c05e74-2042-4632-9e68-ccbaaa40e360 Recently, a controversy has erupted regarding the use of statistical significance tests and the associated P values. Prominent academic statisticians have recommended that the use of statistical tests be discouraged or not used at all. This has naturally led to a lot of confusion among research investigators about the support in the academic statistical community for statistical methods in general. In fact, the controversy surrounding the use of P values has a long history. Critics of P values argue that their use encourages bad scientific practice, leading to the publication of far more false-positive and false-negative findings than the methodology would imply. The thesis of this commentary is that the problem is really human nature, the natural proclivity of scientists to believe their own theories and present data in the most favorable light. This is strongly encouraged by a celebrity culture that is fueled by academic institutions, the scientific journals, and the media. The importance of the truth-seeking tradition of the scientific method needs to be reinforced, and this is being helped by current initiatives to improve transparency in science and to encourage reproducible and replicable research. Statistical testing, used correctly, has an important and valuable place in the scientific tradition.

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