Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Chow: Statistical significance

Statistics without probability: Significance testing as typicality and exchangeability in data analysis

John R. Vokey a1
a1 Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1K 3M4


Statistical significance is almost universally equated with the attribution to some population of nonchance influences as the source of structure in the data. But statistical significance can be divorced from both parameter estimation and probability as, instead, a statement about the atypicality or lack of exchangeability over some distinction of the data relative to some set. From this perspective, the criticisms of significance tests evaporate.