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Do misanthropists really hate mankind? Rather, Molière’s play highlights an ambivalent character, torn between idealism and disappointment — something that psychology research will find three centuries later, through a double vicious circle in which they lock themselves.

For decades, the quality of statistical results has been measured using the p-value. But this gold standard is not as reliable as you might think. It’s time to question it.

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Nuclear accident, stock market crash … the law of large numbers and the Gaussian distribution, foundations of the statistics of average magnitudes, fail to account for such rare or extreme events. Adapted tools exist… but they are not always used!

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Sometimes small differences are given meaning they don’t have. Distinguishing small statistically relevant effects from those arising from chance is a challenge!

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Errors in judgment lead us to see incredible phenomena in certain coincidences and to seek impossible explanations for them.

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A “Bayesian revolution” would gradually infuse cognitive science. This theory, based on a famous theorem in statistics — Bayes’ theorem — upsets our view of the unconscious. This would be based on a hierarchical architecture of the brain making this organ a “prediction machine”.

Humanicus

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