Experiment and Animal Minds: Why the Choice of the Null Hypothesis Matters

Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1059-1069 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In guarding against inferential mistakes, experimental comparative cognition errs on the side of underattributing sophisticated cognition to animals, or what I refer to as the underattribution bias. I propose eliminating this bias by altering the method of choosing the default, or null, hypothesis. Rather than choosing the most parsimonious null hypothesis, as is current practice, I argue for choosing the best-evidenced hypothesis. Doing so at once preserves the risk-controlling structure of the current statistical paradigm and introduces a sensitivity to probability-conferring empirical and theoretical information. This analysis illustrates how values like parsimony can covertly shape statistical-experimental design and inference



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,271

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Chow's defense of Null-hypothesis testing: Too traditional?Robert W. Frick - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):199-199.
Précis of statistical significance: Rationale, validity, and utility.Siu L. Chow - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):169-194.
The logic of Null hypothesis testing.Edward Erwin - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):197-198.
A viable alternative to Null-hypothesis testing.Bruno D. Zumbo - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):227-228.
From null hypothesis to null dogma.N. J. Mackintosh - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):689.
Some meta-theoretical issues relating to statistical inference.Dr Siu L. Chow - 2003 - History and Philosophy of Psychology Bulletin 15 (1):16-26.


Added to PP

51 (#301,723)

6 months
11 (#208,848)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Irina Mikhalevich
Rochester Institute of Technology