Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Chow: Statistical significance

Statistical significance testing was not meant for weak corroborations of weaker theories

Fred L. Bookstein a1
a1 Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Chow sets his version of statistical significance testing in an impoverished context of “theory corroboration” that explicitly excludes well-posed theories admitting of strong support by precise empirical evidence. He demonstrates no scientific usefulness for the problematic procedure he recommends instead. The important role played by significance testing in today's behavioral and brain sciences is wholly inconsistent with the rhetoric he would enforce.