The p-value ritual

The p-value and its implicit symbolism

The Aristotelian conditional syllogistic logic behind the Fisherian p-value is widely misunderstood which leads to fallacious logical inferences. The p-value resembles a Kantian paralogism, i.e., it appears objective and logically valid even though it is not. The p-value is an irrational social ritual (cf. Gigerenzer, 2004). Social conformity, obedience to authority, groupthink, and other aspects of Social Identity Theory (SIT) play an important role in this context.

Given the well-documented paralogisms associated with classical Fisherian null hypothesis significance testing (cf. Cohen, 1994) I advocate alternative inferential research methods. For the statistical analyses of the experimental data I collected during my PhD I utilised Bayesian bootstrapping, Bayes Factor analysis, and Bayesian parameter estimation via Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations (in addition to classical NHST).

“Few researchers are aware that their own heroes rejected what they practice routinely. Awareness of the origins of the ritual and of its rejection could cause a virulent cognitive dissonance, in addition to dissonance with editors, reviewers, and dear colleagues. Suppression of conflicts and contradicting information is in the very nature of this social ritual.”
(Gerd Gigerenzer, 2004, p. 592; Director Emeritus of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, inter alia)

Statistical Research Methods workshop at the University of Plymouth in 2014:
The pitfalls of hypothesis testing


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Khecarī Mudrā (Sanskrit, खेचरी मुद्रा) is an ancient hatha yoga practice performed by placing the tongue above the soft palate and into the nasal cavity. For this purpose the tongue is elongated by gradually cutting through the lingual frenulum, thereby sytematically stretching the tongue on a daily basis for several months. It would be interesting to investigate its effects on unconscious subvocalisations (e.g., via electromyography/EMG) recordings) in the context of the biological evolution of language modules in relation to cognition and consciousness (viz., and specifically its verbal component - the "phonological loop"). Interestingly, a link between subvocalization and schizophrenic hallucinations has been hypothesised.

References

Stephane, M., Barton, S., & Boutros, (...)

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Man lives on earth not once, but three times: the first stage of his life is his continual sleep; the second, sleeping and waking by turns; the third, waking forever.
~ Gustav Fechner
Gustav Fechner is the founding father of modern psychophysics. However, within academia his views are widely misinterpreted as Fechner invented the discipline to oppose "reductive materialism" (the mainstream view in contemporary science). Most research in the domain of psychophysics is based on the premise that mind and matter (psyche and physis) are separate and independent entities. Fechners psychophysics is incompatible with this prima facie stipulation which is not grounded in empirical evidence, viz., it is a (often dogmatic) belief system which is presented as if it would be a logical necessity while (...)

The Bayesian inferential approach provides rich information about the estimated distribution of several parameters of interest, i.e., it provides the distribution of the estimates of μ and σ of both experimental conditions and the associated effect sizes. Specifically, the method provides the “relative credibility” of all possible differences between means, standard deviations (Kruschke, 2013). Inferential conclusions about null hypotheses can be drawn based on these credibility values. In contrast to conventional NHST, uninformative (and frequently misleading124) p values are redundant in the Bayesian framework. Moreover, the Bayesian parameter estimation approach enables the researcher to accept null hypotheses. NHST, on the other, only allows the researcher to reject such null hypotheses. (...)

This is an excerpt form my PhD dissertation which can be accessed under the following URL: http://phd-thesis.ga

Flowchart of preregistration procedure in scientific research.

Preregistration is the practice of publishing the methodology of experiments before they begin. This strategy reduces problems stemming from publication bias and selective reporting of results. See for example:

https://aspredicted.org/
https://cos.io/prereg/
https://www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/replication

A exemplary list of currently preregistered studies can be found on Zotero: https://www.zotero.org/groups/479248/osf/items/collectionKey/KEJP68G9

Questionable research practices that compromise the hypothetico-deductive model which underpins scientific research (graphic adapted (...)

“The words of language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be “voluntarily” reproduced and combined. The above mentioned elements are, in my case, of visual and some of muscular type.”

(Einstein quoted in Hadamard, 1996, The mathematician's mind: The psychology of invention in the mathematical field. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (original work published 1945), as cited in Diezmann, C. M., & Watters, J. J. (2000). Identifying and supporting spatial intelligence in young children. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. 1(3), 299-313).

How do people think about things they cannot see, (...)

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Specific eye exercises (e.g., Trataka) can counteract the effects of prolonged screen-gazing (viz., ocular fixation). This is particularly useful for programmers but also for those who use their mobile phones on a regular basis. In fact, optometrists have observed that there is a significant increase in shortsightedness (myopia) due to prolonged screen exposure.
This is know as the "near work" hypothesis (a correlative hypothesis, i.e., correlation is unequal to causation). The "visual stimuli" hypothesis is concptualy related and asserts that...
Website under construction...
fLux and melatonin
trataka
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-sightedness

Pan, CW; Ramamurthy, D; Saw, SM (January 2012). "Worldwide prevalence and risk factors for myopia". Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics. (...)

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