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The Role of Hypothesis Testing in Wildlife Science

Douglas H. Johnson
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 66, No. 2 (Apr., 2002), pp. 272-276
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3803159
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3803159
Page Count: 5
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The Role of Hypothesis Testing in Wildlife Science
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Abstract

Statistical testing of null hypotheses recently has come under fire in wildlife sciences (Cherry 1998; Johnson 1999; Anderson et al. 2000, 2001). In response to this criticism, Robinson and Wainer (2002) provide some further background information on significance testing; they argue that significance testing in fact is useful in certain situations. I counter by suggesting that such situations rarely arise in our field. I agree with Robinson and Wainer that replication is the key to scientific advancement. I believe, however, that significance testing and resulting P-values frequently are confused with issues of replication. Any single study can yield a P-value, but only consistent results from truly replicated studies will advance our understanding of the natural world.

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