P-Values are not Sufficient but They are Necessary: Probing the Role and Application of Statistical Significance Testing in Public Administration.

TitreP-Values are not Sufficient but They are Necessary: Probing the Role and Application of Statistical Significance Testing in Public Administration.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationSubmitted
AuthorsCharbonneau, É., & Bouchard St-Amant P-A.
JournalPublic Administration Quarterly
Abstract

P-values are important and should be reported in statistical studies. Although presented differently, they provide the same information as confidence intervals. They are a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to practical significance. Magnitude analysis lacks in current Public Administration studies and should be at the core of ensuing discussions. Practitioners should indeed be able to know if the effects on the dependent variable are important in magnitude, but also if they can be acted upon through a cause-to-effect relationship. As we have yet to fight the old battle of p-values, Public Administrationists might be repeating the same errors that led psychologists and economists to take the credibility turn and divert from reporting results from underpowered studies. All in all, the methodological battles that we are not fighting are the lack of proper identification strategies and the reliance on small sample sizes in statistical papers.