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Clinical Science Brown Bag Series

Tuesday, January 15, 2019,

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  • Location: Wilson Hall • 111 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: 316

Andrew J. Tomarken, PhD

Department of Psychology

Vanderbilt University

"Order-Constrained Hypothesis Testing"

The focus of this talk is on scientific hypotheses with multiple components (i.e., composite hypotheses) that are ordinal in nature (e.g., ρ12 > 0 > ρ13 > ρ23; μ3> {μ1, μ4} > μ2).  I will make four points:  (1) Such hypotheses commonly occur in practice; (2) Conventional statistical procedures and measures of model fit are generally ill-suited for testing them; (3) Bayesian and non-Bayesian order-constrained testing procedures are better alternatives; and, (4) These procedures have the added virtue of quantifying  the fit of a model relative to its propensity to fit any pattern of data. Thus “risky” hypotheses are favored that make precise predictions and forbid much. I will illustrate these points using data from several research studies conducted in Wilson Hall. The level of the presentation will be non-technical and geared toward substantive researchers.