# The Significance Test Controversy

DOI link for The Significance Test Controversy

The Significance Test Controversy book

# The Significance Test Controversy

DOI link for The Significance Test Controversy

The Significance Test Controversy book

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Tests of significance have been a key tool in the research kit of behavioral scientists for nearly fifty years, but their widespread and uncritical use has recently led to a rising volume of controversy about their usefulness. This book gathers the central papers in this continuing debate, brings the issues into clear focus, points out practical problems and philosophical pitfalls involved in using the tests, and provides a benchmark from which further analysis can proceed.The papers deal with some of the basic philosophy of science, mathematical and statistical assumptions connected with significance tests and the problems of the interpretation of test results, but the work is essentially non-technical in its emphasis. The collection succeeds in raising a variety of questions about the value of the tests; taken together, the questions present a strong case for vital reform in test use, if not for their total abandonment in research.The book is designed for practicing researchers-those not extensively trained in mathematics and statistics that must nevertheless regularly decide if and how tests of significance are to be used-and for those training for research. While controversy has been centered in sociology and psychology, and the book will be especially useful to researchers and students in those fields, its importance is great across the spectrum of the scientific disciplines in which statistical procedures are essential-notably political science, economics, and the other social sciences, education, and many biological fields as well.Denton E. Morrison is professor, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University.Ramon E. Henkel is associate professor emeritus, Department of Sociology University of Maryland. He teaches as part of the graduate faculty.

## TABLE OF CONTENTS

chapter Introduction

#### A Preview of the Issues and an Overview of the Readings

part One|2 pages

Critical Historical Context

chapter 1|14 pages

#### The Contemporary Crisis or the Uncertainties of Uncertain Inference

chapter 3|16 pages

#### Significance as Interpreted by the School of R. A. Fisher

part Two|2 pages

The Controversy in Sociology

chapter 11|2 pages

#### Reply to Gold’s Comment on “A Critique of Tests of Significance”

chapter 17|6 pages

#### The Sacredness of .05

chapter 18|5 pages

#### Common Misinterpretations of Significance Levels in Sociological Journals

chapter 19|6 pages

#### Criteria for Selecting a Significance Level:

chapter 22|8 pages

#### Proof? No. Evidence? Yes. The Significance of Tests of Significance

part Three|2 pages

Criticism by Psychologists

chapter 26|15 pages

#### Theory Testing in Psychology and Physics*

part Four|2 pages

Criticism from Other Quarters

chapter 29|6 pages

#### Publication Decisions and Their Possible Effects on Inferences Drawn from Tests of Significance—or Vice Versa

part Five|2 pages

Epilogue