I noticed a few days ago that people were expressing surprise on Twitter that the EEF report on Philosophy for children had no tests for statistical significance.
OK. Maybe some people haven’t read my previous blogs or believed what I’ve said before (and it is quite shocking) so I will briefly explain again.
When Mathematicians invented modern-day Statistics in the 1930s, they needed a way to see if results from an experiment were a real effect or just randomness. (For example, I throw a coin 10 times and it comes up Heads 7 times, it’s probably just randomness. I throw a coin 100 times and it comes up Heads 70 times, it’s probably biased.) So, Mathematicians invented statistical significance and p values to separate randomness and real effects.
Now, along come some Psychologists. They said “Mathematicians are a bunch of idiots and they’re doing this all wrong, let’s invent our own way of doing things’. So they invented the Effect Size. Mathematicians and Scientists have continued using statistical significance and Psychologists and Educationalists have continued using the Effect Size. They have said repeatedly that Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (i.e. the way Mathematicians and Scientists do things) is wrong.
This kind of thing is repeated on numerous Social Science websites.
So, you’ve really got to understand this, it’s not a case of them choosing one technique over another.
The people who use the Effect Size think that statistical significance testing, i.e. the way Mathematicians and Scientists do things is wrong and they have invented their own way of doing Statistics.
You’ve really got to grasp that to understand what I’ve been saying in my blogs.