Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Illustration of a "Miss" in Hypothesis Testing (and Relevance for Power Analysis)

Tomorrow, we'll be covering statistical power. Last year's blog notes on this topic are pretty extensive, so I'll just add a few more pieces of information this year (including a couple of songs).

As we'll discuss, the conceptual framework underlying statistical power involves two different kinds of errors: rejecting the null (thus claiming a significant result) when the null hypothesis is really true in the population (known as a "false alarm"); and failing to reject the null when the true population correlation (rho) is actually different from zero (known as a "miss"). The latter is illustrated below:

And here are my two new power-related songs...

Everything’s Coming Up Asterisks
Lyrics by Alan Reifman (updated 11/18/2014)
(May be sung to the tune of “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” from Gypsy, Styne/Sondheim)

We've got a scheme, to find p-values, baby.
Something you can use, baby.
But, is it a ruse? Maybe...

State the null! (SLOWLY),
Run the test!
See if H-oh should be, put to rest,

If p’s less, than oh-five,
Then H-oh cannot be, kept alive (SLOWLY),

With small n,
There’s a catch,
There could be findings, you will not snatch,

There’s a chance, you could miss,
Rejecting the null hypothesis… (SLOWLY),

H-oh testing, how it’s always been done,
Some resisting, will anyone be desisting?

With large n,
You will find,
A problem, of the opposite kind,

Nearly all, you present,
Will be sig-nif-i-cant,

You must start to look more at effect size (SLOWLY),
’Cause, everything’s coming up asterisks, oh-one and oh-five! (SLOWLY)

Believe it or not, the above song has been cited in the social-scientific literature:

Find the Power
Lyrics by Alan Reifman
(May be sung or rapped to the tune of “Fight the Power,” Chuck D/Sadler/Shocklee/ Shocklee, for Public Enemy)

People do their studies, without consideration,
If H-oh, can receive obliteration,
Is your sample large enough?
To find interesting stuff,

P-level and tails, for when H-oh fails,
Point-eight-oh’s the way to go,
That’s the kind of power,
That you’ve got to show,

Look into your mind,
For the effect, you think you’ll find,

Got to put this all together,
Got to build your study right,
Got to give yourself enough, statistical might,

You’ve got to get the sample you need,
Got to learn the way,
Find the power!

Find the power!
Get the sample you need!

Find the power!
Get the sample you need!