Things to say, professionally, of small significance

The Still Not Significant blog lists lots of ways to mutter, in professional language, if your research findings are statistically marginal. Among them: What to do if your p-value is just over the arbitrary threshold for ‘significance’ of p=0.05? … The solution is to apply the time-honoured tactic of circumlocution to disguise the non-significant result as […]

“The more we learn, the less we understand”

“The more we learn, the less we understand,” says geneticist Steve Jones about genes and genetics, in this Lost Lecture: David Dobbs pursues this theme in the essay “Weighing The Promises Of Big Genomics“, in Buzzfeed: …“Many genes of small effect” became a sort of tepid curse. I myself prefer the stronger, more memorable phrase “Many Assorted […]

Psychology: Everything Matters (more or less, or hardly at all)

Some psychologists find ways to find significance in lots and lots of places, says this study: “False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant,” Joseph P. Simmons, Leif D. Nelson and Uri Simonsohn, Psychological Science, November 2011, vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 1359-1366. (Thanks to investigators Don Shearman and […]