The Insignificance of Null Hypothesis Significance Testing
The current method of hypothesis testing in the social sciences is under intense criticism
yet most political scientists are unaware of the important issues being
raised. Criticisms focus on the construction and interpretation of a
procedure that has dominated the reporting of empirical results for over fifty years.
There is evidence that null hypothesis significance testing as practiced in political
science is deeply flawed and widely misunderstood. This is important since most
empirical work in political science argues the value of findings through the use of
the null hypothesis significance test.
In this article I review the history of the null hypothesis significance
testing paradigm in the social sciences and discuss major problems, some of which
are logical inconsistencies while others are more interpretive in nature. I suggest
alternative techniques to convey effectively the importance of data-analytic findings.
These recommendations are illustrated with examples using empirical
political science publications.
Document ID Number