“Statistically significant claims in research publications are routinely mistaken.”

Statisticians Andrew Gelman and Eric Loken explore how the presence of “researcher degrees of freedom” leads to findings where there should be none:

“The short version is that it’s easy to fi nd a p < .05 comparison even if nothing is going on, if you look hard enough, and good scientists are skilled at looking hard enough and subsequently coming up with good stories (plausible even to themselves, as well as to their colleagues and peer reviewers) to back up any statistically-signi ficant comparisons they happen to come up with.”

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