Significance Testing in Theory and Practice

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):607-637 (2011)
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Frequentism and Bayesianism represent very different approaches to hypothesis testing, and this presents a skeptical challenge for Bayesians. Given that most empirical research uses frequentist methods, why (if at all) should we rely on it? While it is well known that there are conditions under which Bayesian and frequentist methods agree, without some reason to think these conditions are typically met, the Bayesian hasn’t shown why we are usually safe in relying on results reported by significance testers. In this article, I provide arguments that such conditions will usually be met; the Bayesian can maintain her theoretical disagreement with the frequentist while holding that her error is mostly harmless in practice



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Daniel Greco
Yale University