Statisticians issue warning over misuse of P values
TOK TOPICS: Reason, Ethics, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Human Sciences.
Case Description: The American Statistical Association (ASA) warns against the rampant misinterpretation and misuse of P value — a common test for judging the strength of scientific evidence — leading to unreliable research findings in Medicine and Social sciences . In a detailed explanation ASA further asserts how P value by itself cannot determine whether a hypothesis is true or whether results are important. Thus the researchers should avoid drawing scientific conclusions or making policy decisions based on P values alone.
TOK LINK : The statistical analysis has played a pivotal role in predicting and validating models of scientific theories. Still, in recent years there have been reproducibility issues at various stages of experiment , analysis and publication leading to the statisticians community including ASA to intervene and enforce Ethical standards for Statistics. Besides increasing the transparency and openness in sharing of data and analysis , the research community wants to enforce stricter requirements to assess the underlying assumptions of the models in terms of context and relevance.
What role does Ethics play in pursuing the ‘scientific method’?
How far should our policies and decisions depend on statistical analysis?