Re: [R] Chi-Square Test Disagreement

From: Andrew Choens <>
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 17:57:52 +0000

On Thu, 2008-11-27 at 00:46 +0800, Berwin A Turlach wrote:
> Chuck explained already the reason for this small difference. I just
> take issue about it being an important difference. In my opinion,
> this difference is not important at all. It would only be important
> to people who are still sticking to arbitrary cut-off points that are
> mainly due to historical coincidences and the lack of computing power
> at those time in history. If somebody tells you that this difference
> is important, ask him or her whether he or she will be willing to
> finance you a room full of calculators (in the sense of Pearson's
> time) and whether he or she wants you to do all your calculations and
> analyses with these calculators in future. Alternatively, you could
> ask the person whether he or she would like the anaesthetist during
> his or her next operation to use chloroform given his or her nostalgic
> penchant for out-dated rituals/methods.

Yes he did and when I realized the source of my confusion I was appropriately chastised. I felt like a bit of a fool. Of course, I should try comparing apples to apples. Oranges are another thing entirely.

As to the importance of the difference, I am of two minds. On the one hand I fully agree with you. It is an anachronistic approach. On the other hand we don't all have the pleasure of working in a math department where such subtleties are well understood.

I work for a consulting firm that advises state and local governments (USA). I personally do try to expand my understanding on statistics and math (I do not have a degree in math), but my clients do not. When I'm working with someone from the government, it is sometimes easier to simply tell them that relationship x is significant at a certain level of certainty. Although I doubt they could really explain the details, they have some basic understanding of what I am talking about. Subtleties are sometimes lost on our public servants.

And, since I do work for government, if I ask for a roomful of calculators, I might just get them. And really, what am I going to do with a roomful of calculators?


Insert something humorous here.  :-)

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Received on Wed 26 Nov 2008 - 18:01:26 GMT

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