Impact of Criticism of Null-Hypothesis Significance Testing on Statistical Reporting Practices in Conservation Biology Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Over the last decade, criticisms of null-hypothesis significance testing have grown dramatically, and several alternative practices, such as confidence intervals, information theoretic, and Bayesian methods, have been advocated. Have these calls for change had an impact on the statistical reporting practices in conservation biology? In 2000 and 2001, 92% of sampled articles in Conservation Biology and Biological Conservation reported results of null-hypothesis tests. In 2005 this figure dropped to 78%. There were corresponding increases in the use of confidence intervals, information theoretic, and Bayesian techniques. Of those articles reporting null-hypothesis testing--which still easily constitute the majority--very few report statistical power (8%) and many misinterpret statistical nonsignificance as evidence for no effect (63%). Overall, results of our survey show some improvements in statistical practice, but further efforts are clearly required to move the discipline toward improved practices.

authors

  • FIDLER, FIONA
  • BURGMAN, MARK A
  • CUMMING, GEOFF
  • BUTTROSE, ROBERT
  • THOMASON, NEIL

publication date

  • October 2006