Category Archives: Research tools and methods

More on regression to the mean

Previously, we saw how regression to the mean can lead to false results. In a talk titled Regression towards the mean, or Why was Terminator III such a disappointment?, statistician Martin Bland explains this phenomenon and how it appears in different examples. The Victorian statistician Francis Galton measured the heights of parents and children and found that taller parents tended

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Reflections on p-values and confidence intervals

When we run a statistical test, we almost always obtain a p-value. Many statistical tests will also generate a confidence interval. Unfortunately, many scientists report the p-value and ignore the confidence interval. As pointed by Rothman (2016) and the American Statistical Association, relying on p-values forces a false dichotomy between results that are significant and those that are non-significant. This

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What are degrees of freedom in statistics? – Part 2

In a previous post we saw that t distributions with more degrees of freedom approximate the Normal distribution more closely, and degrees of freedom are increased by testing more subjects. How do degrees of freedom influence t values when calculating confidence intervals? The confidence interval about an effect indicates how the effect varies if the study is repeated many times.

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