The Black Goat


Our Most Significant Episode Ever

October 17, 2018

p-values. Love them or hate them, they are everywhere in science. In this episode we talk about some of our thoughts and feelings about this ubiquitous statistics. What are the drawbacks and benefits to dichotomizing results into "significant" and "nonsignificant"? What do we think of other statistical approaches as alternatives or complements, like effect size estimation or Bayes factors? Do we ever actually care about what p-values actually represent (the probability of data given a hypothesis)? And with no small trepidation, we wade into the Alpha Wars, a.k.a. the discussion and debate around a trio of papers representing different views on how p-values should be used in research. Plus: We respond to a letter about suppressing research findings when they conflict with your morals


The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 43. It was recorded on October 3, 2018.