I Was Told There Would Be No Math: The Culture Wars and Statistical Significance
Want to know how we got junk transgender science? Psychologists know how to do math, but they don’t know how to judge math.
Finally, scientists and statisticians revolt against the tyranny of p-values as a measure of statistical significance.
Let’s be clear about what must stop: we should never conclude there is ‘no difference’ or ‘no association’ just because a P value is larger than a threshold such as 0.05 or, equivalently, because a confidence interval includes zero. Neither should we conclude that two studies conflict because one had a statistically significant result and the other did not. These errors waste research efforts and misinform policy decisions.Amrhein, Valentin, Sander Greenland, and Blake McShane. “Scientists Rise up against Statistical Significance.” Nature,567, no. 7748 (March 2019): 305. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-00857-9.
Trust me, you have no idea how many bad ideas are justified by the sizeless stare of statistical significance. But none even approach the level of abuse that p-values engender.
Just look at the history of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The Manual determines the editorial standards for thousands of journals in psychology, education, and related disciplines. It sets standards in criminal forensics, social work, and large parts of psychiatric research. It’s the tax-code of psychological research.
The fifth edition of the Manual still enforces the error of rejecting research if p > 0.5 or t < 2.0. That’s math gobbledegook for “it’s probably mere chance or there’s not much difference between populations.” Neither of those claims are justified by p- or t-values alone. Yet, they are the main criteria for publishing in psychology research journals.
And you can always meet these tests! It’s called p-hacking. The basic error is to shirk the responsibility for producing a causal theory for claims. P-hackers assume that significance is in the numerical description rather than in causes. Try it interactively yourself. You too can hack p-values for fun and profit!
As you manipulated all those variables in the p-hacking exercise above, you shaped your result by exploiting what psychologists Uri Simonsohn, Joseph Simmons and Leif Nelson call “researcher degrees of freedom,” the decisions scientists make as they conduct a study. These choices include things like which observations to record, which ones to compare, which factors to control for, or, in your case, whether to measure the economy using employment or inflation numbers (or both). Researchers often make these calls as they go, and often there’s no obviously correct way to proceed, which makes it tempting to try different things until you get the result you’re looking for.Aschw, Christie, and en. “Science Isn’t Broken.” FiveThirtyEight(blog), August 19, 2015. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/science-isnt-broken/.
That’s how you get grown-up men claiming that we must chemically castrate James to save his life. Experts testified about James. They said if we don’t say he is a girl and get him ready for chemical castration, he would die. Seriously. They testified to that.
These transgender child-abusers masquerading as scientists cherry-pick observations, populations, and variables until they get the result that furthers their anti-family ideology – a result completely at odds with direct observation, normal ideas about causation, and common sense.
Anne Georgulas (on Facebook, on Twitter), James’ “mother”, has experts. They have hacked the statistics against all common sense. We have to hire experts to show how they have misinterpreted and lied about the data.
It’s expensive. Please help us overturn the ridiculous research practices in psychology that are abusing children. That’s the only way we can Save James.
Save James – Save Thousands of Children. Please donate.