The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy

Jesper Wiborg Schneider

NHST is still logically flawed

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In this elaborate response to Wu (in Scientometrics, 2018), I maintain that null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) is logically flawed. Wu (2018) disagrees with this claim presented in Schneider (in Scientometrics 102(1):411–432, 2015). In this response, I examine the claim in more depth and demonstrate that since NHST is based on one conditional probability alone and framed in a probabilistic modus tollens framework of reasoning, it is by definition logically invalid. I also argue that disregarding this logically fallacy, as most researchers do, and treating the p value as a heuristic value for dichotomous decisions against the null hypothesis, is a risky business that often leads to false-positive claims.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-635
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Conditional probability, Inference logic, Modus tollens, Null hypothesis significance test, p values, Statistical inference

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