150
votes
74answers
191k views

Statistics Jokes

Well, we've got favourite statistics quotes. What about statistics jokes?
76
votes
9answers
14k views

Regarding p-values, why 1% and 5%? Why not 6% or 10%?

Regarding p-values, I am wondering why 1% and 5% seem to be the gold standard for "statistical significance". Why not other values, like 6% or 10%? Is there a fundamental mathematical reason for this,...
27
votes
17answers
5k views

How to describe statistics in one sentence?

When I first started learning statistics, procedures like the t-test, ANOVA, chi-squared and linear regression each appeared to be very different creatures. But now I realise these procedures each do ...
65
votes
4answers
23k views

When to use Fisher and Neyman-Pearson framework?

I've been reading a lot lately about the differences between Fisher's method of hypothesis testing and the Neyman-Pearson school of thought. My question is, ignoring philosophical objections for a ...
37
votes
8answers
17k views

How to test hypothesis of no group differences?

Imagine you have a study with two groups (e.g., males and females) looking at a numeric dependent variable (e.g., intelligence test scores) and you have the hypothesis that there are no group ...
50
votes
5answers
15k views

How small a quantity should be added to x to avoid taking the log of zero?

I have analysed my data as they are. Now I want to look at my analyses after taking the log of all variables. Many variables contain many zeros. Therefore I add a small quantity to avoid taking the ...
42
votes
8answers
1k views

Are all models useless? Is any exact model possible — or useful?

This question has been festering in my mind for over a month. The February 2015 issue of Amstat News contains an article by Berkeley Professor Mark van der Laan that scolds people for using inexact ...
25
votes
7answers
1k views

Distribution hypothesis testing - what is the point of doing it if you can't “accept” your null hypothesis?

Various hypothesis tests, such as the $\chi^{2}$ GOF test, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Anderson-Darling, etc., follow this basic format: $H_0$: The data follow the given distribution. $H_1$: The data do not ...
32
votes
1answer
6k views

Why do my p-values differ between logistic regression output, chi-squared test, and the confidence interval for the OR?

I have built a logistic regression where the outcome variable is being cured after receiving treatment (Cure vs. No Cure). All ...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

Pitfalls in experimental design: Avoiding dead experiments

I've come across this quote numerous times: To consult the statistician after an experiment is finished is often merely to ask him to conduct a post mortem examination. He can perhaps say what ...
6
votes
8answers
3k views

What's the name for this statistical fallacy?

I was told an anecdote by someone today who was trying to prove a point regarding safety. They said "50 people have been living in [area a] for the past two years one year (apparently I remembered the ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What is effect size… and why is it even useful?

I have an introductory-graduate-level statistics background (assume I know mathematical statistics and probability at an undergraduate level (e.g., Wackerly et al., Ross' Probability), and have some ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there an explanation for why there are so many natural phenomena that follow normal distribution?

I think this is a fascinating topic and I do not fully understand it. What law of physics makes so that so many natural phenomena have normal distribution? It would seem more intuitive that they would ...
17
votes
4answers
21k views

How to test if my distribution is multimodal?

When I plot a histogram of my data, it has two peaks: Does that mean a potential multi-modal distribution? I ran the dip.test in R (...
12
votes
4answers
460 views

Is any quantitative property of the population a “parameter”?

I'm relatively familiar with the distinction between the terms statistic and parameter. I see a statistic as the value obtained from applying a function to the sample data. However, most examples of ...

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