[R-sig-ME] citation for significance testing in mixed models

Henrik Pärn henrik.parn at bio.ntnu.no
Thu Oct 7 10:06:29 CEST 2010

Dear Elizabeth,

I believe this article:

Baayen, R., D. Davidson, and D. Bates. 2008. Mixed-effects modeling
with crossed random effects for subjects and items. Journal of Memory
and Language 59:390-412.

...was been mentioned in an answer to a similar question on the mixed-list.

Best regards,



I cannot find a good (published) citation for the statement that significance tests from mixed models (e.g., the t-statistics produced by lmer) are approximate and should be interpreted as such.  It would make me particularly happy if I could attribute the statement to D. Bates.

I often need to explain the idea to colleagues (ecologists) and reviewers of articles in ecological journals.  It would be nice to be able to argue from authority, as well as from first principles.

Humble apologies if I am missing something obvious....



Henrik Pärn
Centre for Conservation Biology
Department of Biology
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
No-7491 Trondheim

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