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This paper is from Session 3F: Teaching nonparametric methods
which comes under Topic 3: Statistics education at the post-secondary level             Full topic list

(Thursday 6th, 14:00-15:30)

Teaching non-parametric statistics to students in health sciences



There are advantages and disadvantages to teaching non-parametric statistics. On the plus side is the fact that minimal assumptions have to be made, and many of the tests (such as the sign test) are intuitive. On the minus side are the difficulties in teaching statistics purely through significance tests and the difficulty of getting estimates and confidence intervals. My experience is that some disciplines, especially psychology, seem to teach almost exclusively non-parametric statistics, and I have been trying to steer them towards a more parametric approach, since, in my opinion, unless you can write a model, you don't really understand what to infer from a p-value.