ESRC 1-day workshop: Interpreting Null Results

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Tuesday 7th February, University of Sussex

The purpose of the course is to present simple tools for dealing with non-significant results – an area which social scientists (including psychologists) have consistently found problematic. In particular, people will be taught how to apply Bayes Factors and likelihood intervals to draw meaningful inferences from non-significant data, using free on-line software: Software which allows one to determine whether there is strong evidence for the null and against one’s theory, or if the data are just insensitive, a distinction p_values cannot make. These tools have greater flexibility than power calculations and allow null results to be interpreted over a wider range of situations.  The tools can also be used more generally than just for null results; they overcome problems both with “running until one gets a significant result” and with the ambiguity of planned versus post hoc testing. Such tools should allow the publication of null results to become easier.

Speaker: Zoltan Dienes

Event Outline (Programme)

  • 09:30 Welcome and Registration
  • 10:00 Basics: The different aims of significance testing and Bayesian inference (including the three moral and inferential paradoxes of significance testing)
  • 11:00 Confidence intervals, likelihood intervals, credibility intervals
  • 11:30 Coffee break
  • 12:00 Bayes Factors
  • 13:00 Lunch 1-2pm
  • 14:00 Example applications to different data
  • 15:00 Coffee
  • 15:30 More examples
  • 16:30 Finish

Target Audience: Anybody who might at any time have to interpret a non-significant result


  • £30 – For UK registered postgraduate students
  • £60 – For staff at UK academic institutions, ESRC funded researchers and registered charity organisations
  • £220 – For all other participants

All fees include event materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea.  They do not include travel and accommodation costs.

To book contact:


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