Netherlands, Utrecht

Hypothesis Evaluation: P-Values, Bayes Factor, and Information Criteria

when 24 June 2019 - 8 July 2019
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 550

This 4-day course discusses the evaluation of theory-based hypotheses using p-values, the Bayes factor, and information criteria. There will be attention for contemporary phenomena, like publication bias, questionable research practices, the replication crisis, the statistical evaluation of replication studies, and studies in which multiple data sets are used to evaluate the same research question. The course will be non-technical in nature, that is, it is targeted at students and researchers who want to use the approaches presented for the evaluation of their own data.

The evaluation of hypotheses is a core feature of research in the behavioural, social, and biomedical sciences. In the last decade, there has been a lot of attention for inappropriate use of hypotheses testing by journals (publication bias) and authors (questionable research practices) as the main causes of the replication crisis (see, for example, Open Science Collaboration, 2015). This course will use different perspectives (classical, Bayesian, information theoretic) to teach participants in a non-technical manner the theory underlying hypothesis evaluation and the appropriate application of hypothesis evaluation. The course is targeted at students and researchers who want to learn how to evaluate theory-based hypotheses.
During the first day of the course, null-hypothesis significance testing (Kuiper and Hoijtink, 2010), questionable research practices, publication bias, and the replication crisis will be discussed. This day will also be used to give a hand-on introduction to statistical analyses using R.
During the second day, hypothesis evaluation using the Bayes factor will be discussed (Hoijtink, Mulder, Van Lissa, and Gu, unpublished). There will among others be attention for Bayesian error probabilities, Bayesian updating, the use of Bayesian hypothesis evaluation for the evaluation of replication studies, and combining evidence from multiple studies addressing the same research question (Kuiper, Buskens, Raub, and Hoijtink, 2013).
The third day of the course will start with an introduction of information criteria (i.e., AIC and its generalization called the GORIC) and a brief repetition of theory-based hypotheses. Subsequently, it will be elaborated how the GORIC can be used to evaluate null, alternative, and theory-based hypotheses. There will be attention for GORIC weights, which have a nice interpretation. This day will, like Day 2, be concluded with examples of replication research and combining evidence from multiple studies in which informative hypotheses play an important role.
During the morning of the fourth day, a debate between three groups (classicists, Bayesians, and information theorists) will be organised in which the (dis)advantages of the approaches presented in this course will be discussed. In the afternoon, there is a lab meeting in which you have the opportunity to analyse your own data (or data provided by the lecturers) with the approaches taught in this course.

You might also be interested in the following Summer School courses:
- Applied Bayesian Statistics, to learn more about Bayes’ theorem, Gibbs sampling and the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm, Bayes factors, the evaluation of informative hypotheses, and Bayesian methods for linear regression, moderation, and mediation with observed variables. Unlike our course, this course pays attention to the statistical theory using formulas.
- A gentle introduction to Bayesian Statistics, for material on Bayesian Structural Equation Modeling. This course assumes knowledge of SEM, but no knowledge of Bayesian statistics is required. Unlike our course, this course does not cover hypothesis testing and Bayes factors

Course leader

Dr. Rebecca Kuiper

Target group

The course will be non-technical in nature, that is, it is targeted at students and researchers who want to use the approaches presented for the evaluation of their own data. These can come from a variety of fields, like, for example, sociology, psychology, education, human development, marketing, business, biology, medicine, political science, and communication sciences.

Participants should at least have finished two years of bachelor education. Participants should be familiar with ANOVA, multiple regression, and the p-value.

Three important notes:
- A maximum of 24 participants will be allowed in this course.
- After registration, we will ask you to write a short motivation letter after which we will determine whether this is the right course for you.
- You must bring your own laptop to this course.

Course aim

After attending the course, you will understand the classical, Bayesian and information theoretic approaches to hypothesis evaluation. You will obtain the practical skills necessary to evaluate hypotheses using these approaches. Moreover, you will learn to evaluate replication studies and to combine the evidence from multiple studies.

Fee info

EUR 550: Course fee
EUR 200: Housing fee

Register for this course
on course website