This paper is from Session 8A: Inference in Times of Crisis, Part 1
which comes under Topic 8: New approaches to research in statistics education
Paper 8A2 (Friday 13th, 11:00-12:30)
Improving the Interpretation of Confidence and Credible Intervals
- Rink Hoekstra (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
- Eric-Jan Wagenmakers (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
- Richard Morey (University of Cardiff, England)
Confidence intervals (CIs) are often endorsed as a useful alternative for the frequently criticized significance test. It is shown, however, that neither students nor researchers find them easy to interpret (Hoekstra et al., 2014). This may be understandable, given how complicated the interpretation of CIs can be (e.g., Morey et al., 2016), but it seems indicative of a statistical education that is suboptimal. This is underscored by an analysis of introductory statistical textbooks, which shows a striking variability of interpretations of CIs, and an alarming frequency of incorrect interpretations. Apparently, statistical education is not optimally effective. Subsequently, we discuss some constructive suggestions to improve our education, with the goal of improving students’ understanding, despite the haziness in many current textbooks.