Stopping rules and data monitoring in clinical trials

In H. W. de Regt, S. Hartmann & S. Okasha (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009, The European Philosophy of Science Association Proceedings Vol. 1, 375-386. Springer. pp. 375--386 (2012)
Stopping rules — rules dictating when to stop accumulating data and start analyzing it for the purposes of inferring from the experiment — divide Bayesians, Likelihoodists and classical statistical approaches to inference. Although the relationship between Bayesian philosophy of science and stopping rules can be complex (cf. Steel 2003), in general, Bayesians regard stopping rules as irrelevant to what inference should be drawn from the data. This position clashes with classical statistical accounts. For orthodox statistics, stopping rules do matter to what inference should be drawn from the data. "The dispute over stopping rule is far from being a marginal quibble, but is instead a striking illustration of the divergence of fundamental aims and standards separating Bayesians and advocates of orthodox statistical methods" (Steel 2004, 195) ...
Keywords Experiments  RCT  Statistical evidence and inference  Error-statistics  Bayesians
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