An objective theory of statistical testing

Synthese 57 (3):297 - 340 (1983)
Theories of statistical testing may be seen as attempts to provide systematic means for evaluating scientific conjectures on the basis of incomplete or inaccurate observational data. The Neyman-Pearson Theory of Testing (NPT) has purported to provide an objective means for testing statistical hypotheses corresponding to scientific claims. Despite their widespread use in science, methods of NPT have themselves been accused of failing to be objective; and the purported objectivity of scientific claims based upon NPT has been called into question. The purpose of this paper is first to clarify this question by examining the conceptions of (I) the function served by NPT in science, and (II) the requirements of an objective theory of statistics upon which attacks on NPT's objectivity are based. Our grounds for rejecting these conceptions suggest altered conceptions of (I) and (II) that might avoid such attacks. Second, we propose a reformulation of NPT, denoted by NPT*, based on these altered conceptions, and argue that it provides an objective theory of statistics. The crux of our argument is that by being able to objectively control error frequencies NPT* is able to objectively evaluate what has or has not been learned from the result of a statistical test.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF01064701
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,209
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Rafaela Hillerbrand (2014). Climate Simulations: Uncertain Projections for an Uncertain World. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):17-32.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

35 ( #134,977 of 1,940,986 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #46,435 of 1,940,986 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.