Beyond P values and Hypothesis Testing: Using the Minimum Bayes Factor to Teach Statistical Inference in Undergraduate Introductory Statistics Courses

  •  Robert Page    
  •  Eiki Satake    


While interest in Bayesian statistics has been growing in statistics education, the treatment of the topic is still inadequate in both textbooks and the classroom. Because so many fields of study lead to careers that involve a decision-making process requiring an understanding of Bayesian methods, it is becoming increasingly clear that Bayesian methods should be included in classes that cover the P value and Hypothesis Testing. We discuss several fallacies associated with the P value and Hypothesis Testing, including why Fisher’s P value and Neyman-Pearson’s Hypothesis Tests are incompatible with each other and cannot be combined to answer the question “What is the probability of the truth of one’s belief based on the evidence?” We go on to explain how the Minimum Bayes Factor can be used as an alternative to frequentist methods, and why the Bayesian approach results in more accurate, credible, and relevant test results when measuring the strength of the evidence. We conclude that educators must realize the importance of teaching the correct interpretation of Fisher’s P value and its alternative, the Bayesian approach, to students in an introductory statistics course.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

Journal Metrics

Google-based Impact Factor (2021): 1.93

h-index (July 2022): 48

i10-index (July 2022): 317

h5-index (2017-2021): 31

h5-median (2017-2021): 38

Learn more