Forget about the ban on P value. There is a bigger issue.

July 1, 2016 by Dr. Jian Huang

In early 2015, the journal editors of “Basic and Applied Social Psychology” announced they would no longer publish papers that contain P values. Later, Nature published an article to further discuss the controversy revolving around P value. It doesn’t matter which side you are on, it is obvious that we are all obsessed with P values, because they have served as a rule of thumb for flagging noteworthy findings across the sciences. As the recent controversy shows, P values are open to exploitation, which is sometimes known as “P hacking”.

With data lauded as the currency of the future, the discussion about banning P value is very thought provoking, but perhaps it is not the chief problem. People need to rigorously evaluate information. P values, when used properly, can be used for this purpose. But, more than ever, people need good information in the first place. With so much focus on evaluating information, there is far too little exploration of how to develop new sources of information, that provide valuable data with breadth and depth.

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Jian Huang is the Chief Executive Officer at Survature providing the vision for reinventing the way the world experiences surveys. He is a professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee (UT) researching data analysis, visualization, and human-computer interaction. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Interior, Intel, NASA, and UT-Battelle. Jian received his PhD from the Ohio State University.