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ERIC Number: EJ1104781
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1091-367X
Researchers' Perceptions of Statistical Significance Contribute to Bias in Health and Exercise Science
Buchanan, Taylor L.; Lohse, Keith R.
Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, v20 n3 p131-139 2016
We surveyed researchers in the health and exercise sciences to explore different areas and magnitudes of bias in researchers' decision making. Participants were presented with scenarios (testing a central hypothesis with p = 0.06 or p = 0.04) in a random order and surveyed about what they would do in each scenario. Participants showed significant bias in deciding to randomize additional participants when p = 0.06 (24.5%) compared to when p = 0.04 (6.5%), ?[superscript 2] = 19.86, odds ratio (OR) = 13.5. Based on this bias to randomize additional participants, we present statistical simulations showing the cumulative negative effect this bias has on the false positive rate for a field. While it is important for researchers to have flexibility in their data-processing decisions, there is a cost/benefit trade-off to experimenter degrees of freedom and it is important that these decisions be unbiased. These data highlight the importance of a priori analysis plans in research.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A