[ExI] AI & education

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 5 15:38:59 UTC 2010

--- On Sun, 4/4/10, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> Dunno.  I am surely not the first one to realize that
> in some cases the way things are being taught is doing more harm 
> that good. That being said, I was presumptuous as hell to comment 
> about the 95%ile confidence criterion. My own statistics education is 
> now tragically 30 years old, so it is likely that this problem has 
> been fixed that by now.
> Please have we any college students here, or recent-ish
> grads who can tell us, do the statistics profs and texts still 
> give the 95%ile criterion for statistical significance?

My education dates similarly to yours but I have it on good authority that statisticians (in the medical field at least) still routinely use p values of .05 for determining significance. Occasionally they use the equally arbitrary value of .01. I disagree with you, though, that this represents a real problem in need of fixing. Only a naive or poorly trained researcher would fail to realize the arbitrary nature of the particular value of p. 

Typically when results indicate something close to significance at the desired level, the researcher will state in his report that his results look interesting and suggest that the hypothesis under consideration merits further study. Subsequent studies, usually with larger samples, then serve to confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis. 



More information about the extropy-chat mailing list