[R-sig-ME] Fwd: same old question - lme4 and p-values

Reinhold Kliegl reinhold.kliegl at gmail.com
Sat Apr 5 13:52:42 CEST 2008

 "If you mean to replace them with confidence intervals, I have no
problem with that."

That's what I mean or, perhaps, credibility intervals. Of course, I do
not want to do away with statistics but, in perspective, hope for an
increase in sophisticated application.


On Sat, Apr 5, 2008 at 1:21 PM, Jonathan Baron <baron at psych.upenn.edu> wrote:
> On 04/05/08 12:10, Reinhold Kliegl wrote:
>  > Here is a section that worked in Kliegl, Risse, & Laubrock (2007, J
>  > Exp Psychol:Human Perception and Performance, 33, 1250-1251).
>  This is extremely helpful.
>  > In perspective, I think the p-value problem will
>  > simply go away.
>  I'm not sure what you mean here.  If you mean to replace them with
>  confidence intervals, I have no problem with that.  But, as a journal
>  editor, I am afraid that I will continue to insist on some sort of
>  evidence that effects are real.  This can be done in many ways.  But
>  too many authors submit articles in which the claimed effects can
>  result from random variation, either in subjects ("participants*") or
>  items, and they don't correctly reject such alternative explanations
>  of a difference in means.
>  I have noticed a kind of split among those who comment on this issue.
>  On the one side are those who are familiar with fields such as
>  epidemiology or economics (excluding experimental economics), where
>  the claim is often made that "the null hypothesis is always false
>  anyway, so why bother rejecting it?"  These are the ones interested in
>  effect sizes, variance accounted for, etc.  They are correct for this
>  kind of research, but there are other kinds of research.
>  On the other side, are those from (e.g.) experimental psychology,
>  where the name of the game is to design experiments that are so well
>  controlled that the null hypothesis will be true if the effect of
>  interest is absent.  As a member of this group, when I read people
>  from the first group, I find it very discouraging.  It is almost as if
>  they are saying that what I work so hard to try to do is impossible.
>  To get a little specific, although I found Gelman and Hill's book very
>  helpful on many points (and it does not deny the existence of people
>  like me), it is written largely for members of the first group.  By
>  contrast, Baayen's book is written for people like me, as is the
>  Baayen, Davidson, and Bates article, "Mixed effects modeling with
>  crossed random effects for subjects and items."
>  I'm afraid we do need significance tests, or confidence intervals, or
>  something.
>  Jon
>  * On "participants" vs. "subjects" see:
>  http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/getArticle.cfm?id=1549
>  --
>  Jonathan Baron, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
>  Home page: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~baron
>  Editor: Judgment and Decision Making (http://journal.sjdm.org)

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