Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.4960
Title: When to adjust alpha during multiple testing: A consideration of disjunction, conjunction, and individual testing.
Authors: Rubin, Mark
Issue Date: 7-Jul-2021
Publisher: PsychArchives
Abstract: Scientists often adjust their significance threshold (alpha level) during null hypothesis significance testing in order to take into account multiple testing and multiple comparisons. This alpha adjustment has become particularly relevant in the context of the replication crisis in science. The present article considers the conditions in which this alpha adjustment is appropriate and the conditions in which it is inappropriate. A distinction is drawn between three types of multiple testing: disjunction testing, conjunction testing, and individual testing. It is argued that alpha adjustment is only appropriate in the case of disjunction testing, in which at least one test result must be significant in order to reject the associated joint null hypothesis. Alpha adjustment is inappropriate in the case of conjunction testing, in which all relevant results must be significant in order to reject the joint null hypothesis. Alpha adjustment is also inappropriate in the case of individual testing, in which each individual result must be significant in order to reject each associated individual null hypothesis. The conditions under which each of these three types of multiple testing is warranted are examined. It is concluded that researchers should not automatically (mindlessly) assume that alpha adjustment is necessary during multiple testing. Illustrations are provided in relation to joint studywise hypotheses and joint multiway ANOVAwise hypotheses.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12034/4388
http://dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.4960
Citation: Rubin, M. (2021). When to adjust alpha during multiple testing: A consideration of disjunction, conjunction, and individual testing. Synthese. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03276-4
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