Episode 52

52: Give p's a chance (with Daniel Lakens)


October 20th, 2017

1 hr 2 mins 33 secs

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About this Episode

In this episode, Dan and James welcome back Daniel Lakens (Eindhoven University of Technology) to discuss his new paper on justifying your alpha level.


  • Why did Daniel write this paper?
  • Turning away from mindless statistics
  • Incremental vs. seismic change in statistical practice
  • The limitations to justifying your alpha
  • The benefits of registered reports
  • Daniel’s coursera course
  • What’s better? Two pre-registered studies at .05 or one unregistered study at .005?
  • Testing at the start of semester vs. the end of semester
  • Thinking of controlling for Type 1 errors as driving speed limits
  • Error rates mean different things between fields
  • What if we applied the “5 Sigma” threshold used in physics to the biobehavioral sciences?
  • What about abandoning statistical significance
  • How did Daniel co-ordinate a paper with 88 co-authors?
  • Using time zones to your benefit when collaborating
  • How can junior researchers contribute to these types of discussions?
  • Science by discussion, not manifesto
  • The dangers of blanket recommendations
  • How do you actually justify your alpha from scratch?


Daniel on Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/lakens
Daniel’s courser course - https://www.coursera.org/learn/statistical-inferences
Justify your alpha paper - https://psyarxiv.com/9s3y6
Abandon statistical significance - https://arxiv.org/abs/1709.07588
Using the costs of error rates to set your alpha - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00625.x

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