The Superego, the Ego, and the Id in Statistical Reasoning

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Statistical reasoning is an art and so demands both mathematical knowledge and informed judgment. When it is mechanized, as with the institutionalized hybrid logic, it becomes ritual, not reasoning. Many experts have argued that it is not going to be easy to get researchers in psychology and other sociobiomedical sciences to drop this comforting crutch unless one offers an easy-to-use substitute. This chapter argues that this should be avoided — the substitution of one mechanistic dogma for another. At the very least, this chapter can serve as a tool in arguments with people who think they have to defend a ritualistic dogma instead of good statistical reasoning. Making and winning such arguments is indispensable to good science.

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Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates)

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Math & Statistics, Social Science

Language(s): English