Monthly Archives: May 2018

“Intentions (in your head)” is the code word for “error probabilities (of a procedure)”: Allan Birnbaum’s Birthday

27 May 1923-1 July 1976

27 May 1923-1 July 1976

Today is Allan Birnbaum’s Birthday. Birnbaum’s (1962) classic “On the Foundations of Statistical Inference,” in Breakthroughs in Statistics (volume I 1993), concerns a principle that remains at the heart of today’s controversies in statistics–even if it isn’t obvious at first: the Likelihood Principle (LP) (also called the strong likelihood Principle SLP, to distinguish it from the weak LP [1]). According to the LP/SLP, given the statistical model, the information from the data are fully contained in the likelihood ratio. Thus, properties of the sampling distribution of the test statistic vanish (as I put it in my slides from this post)! But error probabilities are all properties of the sampling distribution. Thus, embracing the LP (SLP) blocks our error statistician’s direct ways of taking into account “biasing selection effects” (slide #10). [Posted earlier here.] Interesting, as seen in a 2018 post on Neyman, Neyman did discuss this paper, but had an odd reaction that I’m not sure I understand. (Check it out.) Continue reading

Categories: Birnbaum, Birnbaum Brakes, frequentist/Bayesian, Likelihood Principle, phil/history of stat, Statistics | 6 Comments

The Meaning of My Title: Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How to Get Beyond the Statistics Wars


Excerpts from the Preface:

The Statistics Wars: 

Today’s “statistics wars” are fascinating: They are at once ancient and up to the minute. They reflect disagreements on one of the deepest, oldest, philosophical questions: How do humans learn about the world despite threats of error due to incomplete and variable data? At the same time, they are the engine behind current controversies surrounding high-profile failures of replication in the social and biological sciences. How should the integrity of science be restored? Experts do not agree. This book pulls back the curtain on why. Continue reading

Categories: Announcement, SIST | Leave a comment

Getting Up to Speed on Principles of Statistics


“If a statistical analysis is clearly shown to be effective … it gains nothing from being … principled,” according to Terry Speed in an interesting IMS article (2016) that Harry Crane tweeted about a couple of days ago [i]. Crane objects that you need principles to determine if it is effective, else it “seems that a method is effective (a la Speed) if it gives the answer you want/expect.” I suspected that what Speed was objecting to was an appeal to “principles of inference” of the type to which Neyman objected in my recent post. This turns out to be correct. Here are some excerpts from Speed’s article (emphasis is mine): Continue reading

Categories: Likelihood Principle, Philosophy of Statistics | 4 Comments

3 YEARS AGO (May 2015): Monthly Memory Lane

3 years ago...               3 years ago…

MONTHLY MEMORY LANE: 3 years ago: May 2015. I mark in red 3-4 posts from each month that seem most apt for general background on key issues in this blog, excluding those reblogged recently[1]. Posts that are part of a “unit” or a group count as one, as in the case of 5/16, 5/19 and 5/24.

May 2015

  • 05/04 Spurious Correlations: Death by getting tangled in bedsheets and the consumption of cheese! (Aris Spanos)
  • 05/08 What really defies common sense (Msc kvetch on rejected posts)
  • 05/09 Stephen Senn: Double Jeopardy?: Judge Jeffreys Upholds the Law (sequel to the pathetic P-value)
  • 05/16 “Error statistical modeling and inference: Where methodology meets ontology” A. Spanos and D. Mayo
  • 05/19 Workshop on Replication in the Sciences: Society for Philosophy and Psychology: (2nd part of double header)
  • 05/24 From our “Philosophy of Statistics” session: APS 2015 convention
  • 05/27 “Intentions” is the new code word for “error probabilities”: Allan Birnbaum’s Birthday
  • 05/30 3 YEARS AGO (MAY 2012): Saturday Night Memory Lane

[1] Monthly memory lanes began at the blog’s 3-year anniversary in Sept, 2014.

I regret being away from blogging as of late (yes, the last bit of proofing on the book): I shall return soon! Send me stuff to post of yours or items of interest in the mean time.


Categories: 3-year memory lane | 1 Comment

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