Science Needs Better Statistical Analysis
A respected psychology journal's decision to accept a research report that claims to show the existence of extrasensory perception has inflamed one of the longest-running debates in science. Some statisticians have argued that the standard technique used to analyze data in much of social science and medicine overstates many study findings — often by a lot. The literature is littered with positive findings that do not pan out: “effective” therapies that are no better than a placebo; slight biases that do not affect behavior; brain-imaging correlations that are meaningless. ...Statistical analysis must find ways to expose and counterbalance all the many factors that can lead to falsely positive results — among them human nature...and industry money.