Saturday, 21 September 2013

95 percent confident that you're wrong

Be careful of statistical significance!
Ah, some scientists would say, maybe you can’t conclude anything with certainty. But with only a 5 percent chance of observing the data if there’s no effect, there’s a 95 percent chance of an effect—you can be 95 percent confident that your result is real. The problem is, that reasoning is 100 percent incorrect. For one thing, the 5 percent chance of a fluke is calculated by assuming there is no effect. If there actually is an effect, the calculation is no longer valid. Besides that, such a conclusion exemplifies a logical fallacy called “transposing the conditional.”
(via  Charlotte Bouckaert)

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