Cohen’S Paper The Earth Is Round (P>0.05) Is A Critique
944 Words4 Pages
Cohen’s paper The Earth is Round (p>0.05) is a critique of null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST). In his article, Cohen presents his arguments about what is wrong with NHST and suggests ways in which researchers can improve their research, as well as the way they report their research. Cohen’s main point is that researchers who use NHST often misinterpret the meaning of p-values and what can be concluded from them (Cohen, 1994). Cohen also shows that the NHST is close to worthless. NHST is a way to show how unlikely a result would be if the null hypothesis were true. A Type I error is where the researcher incorrectly rejects a true null hypothesis and a Type II error is where the researcher incorrectly accepts the false null…show more content… Those focused on effect sizes will have positive bias in their estimations. Therefore, Cohen suggests that we call it the nil hypothesis. Nil means zero, and the hypothesis should be called nil instead of null because we are always testing against zero.
Cohen states that the p-value is only able to tell us whether there is a difference between A and B. If the null hypothesis is rejected, then A is more than B, or vice versa. Unfortunately, Cohen believes that the only thing researchers are learning is whether one is larger than the other, which is not enough information. To conclude Cohen’s discussion on the statistics used in psychological research, he discusses how correlation is not causation. In terms of how to avoid continuing to make this error, Cohen does not believe that there is a way to replace NHST. First, we are not supposed to look for an easy alternative to NHST because it does not exist. Two possible solutions are to understand and improve the data that we collect and to report the effect sizes in the form of confidence intervals (Cohen, 1994).
Cohen’s article is a reminder to be careful when reviewing research. This article shows how not all research is true and people put their faith into what they want the research to mean. It is damaging to the progression of psychology as a science if researchers do not claim something as significant for being true. We do this by claiming something is significant because that is what NHST says, and