Beyond Calculations: A Course in Statistical Thinking

TitleBeyond Calculations: A Course in Statistical Thinking
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsE. Steel, Ashley, Martin Liermann, and Peter Guttorp
JournalThe American Statistician
AbstractStatisticians are in general agreement that there are flaws in how science is currently practiced; there is less agreement in how to make repairs. Our prescription for a Post-p < 0.05 Era is to develop and teach courses that expand our view of what constitutes the domain of statistics and thereby bridge undergraduate statistics coursework and the graduate student experience of applying statistics in research. Such courses can speed up the process of gaining statistical wisdom by giving students insight into the human propensity to make statistical errors, the meaning of a single test within a research project, ways in which p-values work and don't work as expected, the role of statistics in the lifecycle of science, and best practices for statistical communication. The course we have developed follows the story of how we use data to understand the world, leveraging simulation-based approaches to perform customized analyses and evaluate the behavior of statistical procedures. We provide ideas for expanding beyond the traditional classroom, two example activities, and a course syllabus as well as the set of statistical best practices for creating and consuming scientific information that we develop during the course.
Short TitleBeyond Calculations