Significance Testing Principles

  • A song about the different assumptions needed for parametric statistical methods and the importance of checking how well they hold and what effect they may have on the results and conclusions. The lyrics were written in 2017 by Dennis K. Pearl from Penn State University and may be sung to the tune of "Every Breath You Take" written by Sting and made popular by The Police on their 1983 album "Synchronicity."
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  • A game to aid in teaching experimental design and significance testing (especially one sample, two sample, and matched pair situations). Tangrams are puzzles in which a person is expected to place geometrically shaped pieces into a particular design. The on-line Tangram Game provides students the opportunity to design many versions of the original game in order to test which variables have the largest effect on game completion time. A full set of student and instructor materials are available and were created by Kevin Comiskey (West Point), Rod Sturdivant (Ohio State University) and Shonda Kuiper (Grinnell College) as part of the Stat2Labs collection.

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  • A game to aid in the active learning of significance testing including power and the limitations of p-values. Statistically Grounded is an on-line game that introduces multivariate issues in a simplified game environment. Students are asked to serve as a consultant for their friend, Joe. Joe is starting his own coffee company and students help him design a study to determine whether factors, such as location, time of day, price, type of music, or some combination of these influence sales. The on-line game allows students to design a study, sample data, and make suggestions on how Joe's business should be run. The game then simulates several months of business based on student's suggestions. The goal is to design a plan that will earn the most sales and make the largest amount of profits. The TigetSTAT labs handouts were created by Rod Sturdivant (Ohio State University) and John Jackson (West Point) as part of the Stat2Labs collection at Grinnell College
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  • A game for the active learning of concepts in experimental design and hypothesis testing in the one sample, two-sample and matched pairs situation. Memorathon is an on-line game in which a person is expected to repeat a sequence of buttons provided by an electronic device. Each time you successfully repeat the given sequence of buttons, the sequence gets longer. The challenge is to remember as long a sequence as possible. Cognitive psychologists test short-term memory using serial recall, which evaluates the ability of people to recall information in the specified order in which it was presented. Measuring how many items a subject can remember in order without an error, called memory span, is also studied. The Memorathon Game is an example of serial recall and memory span. This on-line game provides students the opportunity to design multiple versions of the Memorathon Game in order to test which variables have the largest effect on memory. You can leave all the variables blank when you are simply trying out the game, however, if you want to find your score in the database of results, input any specific course ID and student ID. Memorathon is part of the Stat2Labs collection at Grinnell College which includes instructor notes and student handouts.
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  • A game to help in the active learning of concepts in experimental design, regression, and significance testing. Shapesplosion is an on-line game in which a person is expected to place specifically shaped pegs into the appropriate holes within a short time period. In this project, students are asked to use the Shapesplosion game to design an experiment and collect data. This game is specifically designed so that students have the opportunity to develop and test their own unique research question. You can leave all the variables blank when you are simply trying out the game, however, if you want to find your score is the database of results, you will need to select the Participant Info box. This resource is particularly suitable for project oriented teaching and is part of the Stat2Labs collection at Grinnell College that includes instructor notes and student handouts created with funding from NSF-DUE grant #1043814 (Shonda Kuiper, PI).
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  • A cartoon to be used for discussing the nature of conclusions for a significance test. The cartoon was used in the November 2016 CAUSE Cartoon Caption Contest. The winning caption was submitted by Andrea Boito from Penn State University, Altoona, while the drawing was created by John Landers using an idea from Dennis Pearl. Two honorable mentions that rose to the top of the judging in the November competition included a repackaging of the classic refrain "If you torture data enough it will confess," written by Caleb Ohrn, a student at Akron University and "Did you check to see if the conditions were met? Ignore them at your own peril!" written by an anonymous author.
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  • A cartoon to be used for discussing statistical hypothesis testing and the effect of outliers. The cartoon was used in the December 2016 CAUSE Cartoon Caption Contest. The winning caption was submitted by Robert Garrett, a student at Miami University, while the drawing was created by John Landers using an idea from Dennis Pearl. A second winning caption "The sadistic ANOVA problem made most students feel headed for an F test," written by Larry Lesser from University of Texas at El Paso is well-suited to stimulate a discussion of the F test in ANOVA and about general student anxiety about statistics (see "Cartoon: The Exam II")
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  • A cartoon to be used for discussing the F test in ANOVA and for discussing general student anxiety about statistics. The cartoon was used in the December 2016 CAUSE Cartoon Caption Contest. The winning caption was submitted by Larry Lesser at The University of Texas at El Paso, while the drawing was created by John Landers using an idea from Dennis Pearl. A second winning caption "Mark was pleased to note that he was a significant outlier. Little did he know it was a two-sided test..." written by Robert Garrett, a student at Miami University is well-suited to stimulate a discussion of statistical hypothesis testing and the effect of outliers (see "Cartoon: The Exam I")
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  • A cartoon to help students learn not to "accept" the null hypothesis. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea in 2016 from Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.
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  • A cartoon to illustrate the idea that the standard 5% significance level is an arbitrary cut-off. The cartoon was used in the February, 2017 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was submitted by Mickey Dunlap from University of Georgia. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea from Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.
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