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Significance testing with no alternative hypothesis: a measure of surprise

Howard, J. V. (2009) Significance testing with no alternative hypothesis: a measure of surprise. Erkenntnis, 70 (2). pp. 253-270. ISSN 0165-0106

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10670-008-9148-4


A pure significance test would check the agreement of a statistical model with the observed data even when no alternative model was available. The paper proposes the use of a modified p-value to make such a test. The model will be rejected if something surprising is observed (relative to what else might have been observed). It is shown that the relation between this measure of surprise (the s-value) and the surprise indices of Weaver and Good is similar to the relationship between a p-value, a corresponding odds-ratio, and a logit or log-odds statistic. The s-value is always larger than the corresponding p-value, and is not uniformly distributed. Difficulties with the whole approach are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Springer
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2011 11:39
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2021 00:39

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