fredag 10 augusti 2018

Cargo-cult statistics and scientific crisis

Significance magazine

Poor practice is catching up with science,1-3 manifesting in part in the failure of results to be reproducible and replicable.4-7 Various causes have been posited,1, 8 but we believe that poor statistical education and practice are symptoms of and contributors to problems in science as a whole.

The problem is one of cargo-cult statistics – the ritualistic miming of statistics rather than conscientious practice. This has become the norm in many disciplines, reinforced and abetted by statistical education, statistical software, and editorial policies.