A statistical allegory

less than 1 minute read

I. The problem
Oh, t is large and p is small
That’s why we are walking tall.
What it means we need not mull
Just so we reject the null.
Or chi-square large and p near nil
Results like that, they fill the bill.
What if meaning requires a poll?
Never mind, we’re on a roll!
The message we have learned too well?
Significance! That rings the bell!

II. The implications
The moral of our little tale?
That we mortals may be frail
When we feel a p near zero
Makes us out to be a hero.
But tell us then is it too late?
Can we perhaps avoid our fate?
Replace that wish to null-reject
Report the size of the effect.
That may not insure our glory
But at least it tells a story
That is just the kind of yield
Needed to advance our field.

Robert Rosenthal, 1991
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/2/4/213.2.full.pdf (appendix)

Categories:

Updated:

Leave a Comment