The Significance Test Controversy: A Reader

Front Cover
Denton E. Morrison, Ramon E. Henkel
Transaction Publishers, Oct 30, 2006 - Social Science - 333 pages

Tests of significance have been a key tool in the research kit of behavioral scientists for nearly fifty years, but their widespread and uncritical use has recently led to a rising volume of controversy about their usefulness. This book gathers the central papers in this continuing debate, brings the issues into clear focus, points out practical problems and philosophical pitfalls involved in using the tests, and provides a benchmark from which further analysis can proceed.

The papers deal with some of the basic philosophy of science, mathematical and statistical assumptions connected with significance tests and the problems of the interpretation of test results, but the work is essentially non-technical in its emphasis. The collection succeeds in raising a variety of questions about the value of the tests; taken together, the questions present a strong case for vital reform in test use, if not for their total abandonment in research.

The book is designed for practicing researchers-those not extensively trained in mathematics and statistics that must nevertheless regularly decide if and how tests of significance are to be used-and for those training for research. While controversy has been centered in sociology and psychology, and the book will be especially useful to researchers and students in those fields, its importance is great across the spectrum of the scientific disciplines in which statistical procedures are essential-notably political science, economics, and the other social sciences, education, and many biological fields as well.

Denton E. Morrison is professor, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University.

Ramon E. Henkel is associate professor emeritus, Department of Sociology University of Maryland. He teaches as part of the graduate faculty.

 

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Contents

I
9
II
23
III
42
IV
66
V
80
VI
82
VII
88
VIII
92
XVII
156
XVIII
162
XIX
167
XXI
173
XXII
183
XXIII
200
XXIV
214
XXV
217

IX
95
X
108
XI
110
XII
112
XIII
114
XIV
117
XV
128
XVI
143
XXVI
232
XXVII
253
XXVIII
268
XXIX
286
XXX
296
XXXI
302
XXXII
306
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