Category Archives: Frequentist

I am an applied statistician

Today brings a very nice blog post from Rafael Irizarry on being pragmatic in applied statistics rather than rigidly/religiously Bayesian or Frequentist.

Link to article: As an applied statistician I find the Frequentists versus Bayesians debate completely inconsequential.

Does this article reverse or contradict my thinking in forensic science? Not really. I am a strong proponent of Bayesian thinking in that field. However, in the shorter term I would be happier if practitioners simply had a better understanding of the Frequentist interpretation issues. As a statistician I depend on the collaboration of forensic scientists for both the problems and the data. Telling scientists that everything they are doing is incorrect is generally unhelpful. It is more productive to collaborate and make it better.

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If you are not a statistician, this cartoon is mocking statistical significance used in most frequentist hypothesis tests. If we use a threshold of \(\)P<0.05[/latex] then we accept that on average we will falsely declare there to be a significant departure from the null approximately one time in twenty ([latex]1/20 = 0.05[/latex]). In lay terms we will decide there is a difference when there really is not one time in twenty. Thanks Randall.

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