To compare two Bayesian models for the same data, I plotted the fitted values of the first model versus the fitted values of the second model. The plot indicates a perfect similarity.

Relying on this plot, I said there is no significant difference between these two models. However, the difference between the Deviance information criterion (DIC) values of each model is 85, which I think shows that there is a significant difference between these two models.

So, the plot and the DIC, I suppose, are in contrast. What does everyone else think?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is this not just another version of the distinction between statistical significance & practical significance? $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2013 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see this connection. I think the poster is genuinely confused about how to make formal inference between two models and for what purpose. $\endgroup$
    – AdamO
    Jan 14, 2013 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


The DIC goes further than just the fitted values for the data, but actually uses the probability model for them as the wiki article suggests. Details notwithstanding, I'd bet the probability models for the outcome differ between the models you've fit.

As an example, suppose I have aggregate binary proportions across a range of continuous age values. I could fit a linear model and I could fit a GLM with binomial variance. Both will give me the exact same fitted values and singular confidence intervals for the model coefficients. However, the implicit probability models for these data are different.


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