The October 2019 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Investigations came out today. It includes the PERSPECTIVE article by Tom Hardwicke and John Ioannidis, an invited editorial by Gelman and one by me:
Petitions in scientific argumentation: Dissecting the request to retire statistical significance, by Tom Hardwicke and John Ioannidis
P-value thresholds: Forfeit at your peril, by Deborah Mayo
I blogged excerpts from my preprint, and some related posts, here.
All agree to the disagreement on the statistical and metastatistical issues:
- “Very different views have been expressed, and consensus is distinctly lacking among experts (eg see 21 heterogeneous commentaries accompanying the American Statistical Association’s 2016 Statement on P‐Values [ASAI])” Hardwicke and Ioannidis.
- “The foundations and the practice of statistics are in turmoil, with corresponding threads of argument in biology, economics, political science, psychology, public health, and other fields that rely on quantitative research in the presence of variation and uncertainty. Lots of people (myself included) have strong opinions on what should not be done, without always being clear on the best remedy” Gelman.
- “The 43 papers in the special issue ‘Moving to a world beyond ‘p < 0.05’’ offer a cacophony of competing reforms” Mayo.
Despite the admitted disparate views, ASA representatives come out, in 2019, forcefully on the side of: Don’t use P-value thresholds (“at all”) in interpreting data, and Never describe results as attaining “statistical significance at level p”. Should the ASA, as an umbrella group, be striving to provide a relatively neutral forum for open, pressure-free, discussion of different methods–their pros and cons? This is a leading question, true. As an outsider, I’m interested to know what both insiders and outsiders think.[i]
- [i] It’s hard to imagine the American Philosophical Association coming out with a recommendation against one way of doing philosophy, but of course the situation with statistics is very different. (I do recall a push for “pluralism” in philosophy, which has taken on many meanings, and which I’m not up on.)
Links to ASA I and II:
Wasserstein, and N. Lazar. 2016 ASA Statement on P-Values and Statistical Significance (ASA I).
Wasserstein, R., Schirm A. and N. Lazar. “Moving to a world beyond ‘p< 0.05′” (ASA II)