Bad practices in Biostatistics

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Presentation given last year at UFRJ about the dangers of misused statistics in biology. Beware of the dynamite (graphs)!

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Bad practices in Biostatistics

  1. 1. Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then? November 26, 2012
  2. 2. Outline Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz 1 Preliminaries 2 Braindead graphs Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then? 3 Statistics has confirmed it. What!? 4 What should I do then?
  3. 3. Statistics – seems like but – is not magic! Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then? In its origins, created to make sense of incomplete data/information; A useful, powerful and flexible way of coping with uncertainty; Widespread (mis)use in modern science
  4. 4. Braindead graphs I - Why the heck 3D? Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then?
  5. 5. Braindead graphs II - stick with 2D Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then?
  6. 6. Spreads matter Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then?
  7. 7. Dynamite is a bomb! Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then? Don’t show data variation; Who said means mean anything? Where are the data?
  8. 8. Dynamite is a bomb! Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then?
  9. 9. I took the mean of an intervalar scale! Oh, please... Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then? Beverage Coca-Cola Pepsi Dr. Pepper 7up Ginger ale Average Rank 1.6 3.3 4.4 4.9 5.2
  10. 10. Oh, so tiny! Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then?
  11. 11. Oh, so tiny? Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then? Asymptotic normality; Power; Multiple testing
  12. 12. There’s a linear relationship. What!? Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then?
  13. 13. There’s a linear relationship. What!? Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then? OLS assumes normality and homokedasticity You only need two points to make a straight line Residuals analysis is as much important as everything else
  14. 14. What should I do then? Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Try and show the data; Avoid unecessary multiple testing Preliminaries Non-parametrics and Bayesian alternatives Braindead graphs Power Calculations Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then?
  15. 15. Tanqui´ i´ v´ri m˜ti! u u e a Playing dumb:the misuse of Statistics in Biology Luiz Max F. de Carvalho Program for Scientific Computing (PROCC), Fiocruz Preliminaries Braindead graphs Statistics has confirmed it. What!? What should I do then?

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