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A Bayesian Approach to the Multiplicity Problem for Significance Testing with Binomial Data

Cliff Y. K. Meng and Arthur P. Dempster
Biometrics
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jun., 1987), pp. 301-311
DOI: 10.2307/2531814
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2531814
Page Count: 11
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A Bayesian Approach to the Multiplicity Problem for Significance Testing with Binomial Data
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Abstract

Statistical analyses of simple tumor rates from an animal experiment with one control and one treated group typically consist of hypothesis testing of many 2 x 2 tables, one for each tumor type or site. The multiplicity of significance tests may cause excessive overall false-positive rates. This paper presents a Bayesian approach to the problem of multiple significance testing. We develop a normal logistic model that accommodates the incidences of all tumor types or sites observed in the current experiment simultaneously as well as their historical control incidences. Exchangeable normal priors are assumed for certain linear terms in the model. Posterior means, standard deviations, and Bayesian P-values are computed for an average treatment effect as well as for the effects on individual tumor types or sites. Model assumptions are checked using probability plots and the sensitivity of the parameter estimates to alternative priors is studied. The method is illustrated using tumor data from a chronic animal experiment.

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