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Measured Realism and Statistical Inference: An Explanation for the Fast Progress of "Hard" Psychology

J. D. Trout
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 66, Supplement. Proceedings of the 1998 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers (Sep., 1999), pp. S260-S272
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/188776
Page Count: 13
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Measured Realism and Statistical Inference: An Explanation for the Fast Progress of
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Abstract

The use of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) in psychology has been under sustained attack, despite its reliable use in the notably successful, so-called "hard" areas of psychology, such as perception and cognition. I argue that, in contrast to merely methodological analyses of hypothesis testing (in terms of "test severity," or other confirmation-theoretic notions), only a patently metaphysical position can adequately capture the uneven but undeniable successes of theories in "hard psychology." I contend that Measured Realism satisfies this description, and characterizes the role of NHST in hard psychology.

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