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

David Henderson dnadave at revolution-computing.com
Mon Apr 7 04:05:45 CEST 2008

Hi John:

> For all practical purposes, a CI is just the Bayesian credible  
> interval that one gets with some suitable "non-informative prior".   
> Why not then be specific about the prior, and go with the Bayesian  
> credible interval?  (There is an issue whether such a prior can  
> always be found.  Am right in judging this no practical consequence?)

What?  Could you explain this a little more?  There is nothing  
Bayesian about a classical (i.e. not Bayesian credible set or highest  
posterior density, or whatever terminology you prefer) CI.  The  
interpretation is completely different, and the assumptions used in  
deriving the interval are also different.  Even though the interval  
created when using a noninformative prior is similar to a classical  
CI, they are not the same entity.

Now, while i agree with the arguments about p-values and their  
validity, there is one aspect missing from this discussion.  When  
creating a general use package like lme4, we are trying to create  
software that enables statisticians and researchers to perform the  
statistical analyses they need and interpret the results in ways that  
HELP them get published.  While I admire Doug for "drawing a line in  
the sand" in regard to the use of p-values in published research, this  
is counter to HELPING the researcher publish their results.  There has  
to be a better way to further your point in the community than FORCING  
your point upon them.  Education of the next generation of researchers  
and journal editors is admittedly slow, but a much more community  
friendly way of getting your point used in practice.

Just my $0.02...

Dave H
David Henderson, Ph.D.
Director of Community
REvolution Computing
1100 Dexter Avenue North, Suite 250
206-577-4778 x3203
DNADave at Revolution-Computing.Com

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