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Statistical inference for individual organism research: mixed blessing or curse?1

Authors
  • Jack Michael
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1974
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Psychology
License
Unknown

Abstract

Descriptive and inferential statistics are described as judgemental aids, stimuli to which the scientist can more easily react than to his raw experimental results. The increasing emphasis on the significance test as the main judgemental aid utilized in experimental psychology is credited with several harmful effects on experimental practice. The area known as “the experimental analysis of behavior” has so far escaped most of these harmful effects, but now we see an increased interest in the development of appropriate significance tests for individual organism research. This interest is based on the view that it is not possible to effect adequate levels of experimental control with much human applied research, and that in such cases a significance test would be quite valuable as a judgemental aid, both of which points are considered to be essentially incorrect, and if accepted, potentially harmful.

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