Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Chow: Statistical significance

Chow's defense of null-hypothesis testing: Too traditional?

Robert W. Frick a1
a1 Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11790


I disagree with several of Chow's traditional descriptions and justifications of null hypothesis testing: (1) accepting the null hypothesis whenever p > .05; (2) random sampling from a population; (3) the frequentist interpretation of probability; (4) having the null hypothesis generate both a probability distribution and a complement of the desired conclusion; (5) assuming that researchers must fix their sample size before performing their study.