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TITLE Discussion Topic:Teaching Statistics

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Arlene Ash - Chat March 28, 2013 OJC#3

Subject: A campaign to purge the "s-" word from statistical reporting ...,y.0,no.,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx Do We Really Need the S-word? The use of \x93significance\x94 in reporting statistical results is fraught with problems\x97but they could be solved with a simple change in practice Megan D. Higgs

Edith Zang - March 28, 2013

I have one general comment:

It is important for those who teach and practice statistics to occasionally discuss, debate, review and further clarify the underlying principles behind statistical concepts and procedures, such as the p-value. That is why I though that today's discussion was very useful. However, I think the choice of the paper "Mindless statistics" as a basis for this discussion was not a good one, because the author him/herself demonstrates a less than clear understanding of the principles underlying hypothesis testing and the concept of the p-value. This paper may be better used as an example to demonstrate that, in order to avoid common errors and misinterpretations, statistics should be taught only by those whose expertise is in statistics (and not in the social sciences, medicine, etc.), and why most research projects and publications should be supported and reviewed by qualified statisticians. Edith