Hypothesis Testing in the Courtroom

Hypothesis Testing in the Courtroom, in Alan E. Gelfand ed., Hypothesis Testing in the Courtroom, 1987, Orlando, FL: Academic Press, Inc., pp. 331–356

12 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2018

See all articles by David H. Kaye

David H. Kaye

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law; Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law - School of Life Science

Date Written: 1986

Abstract

This paper explains why it is impossible to set a significance level for a statistical hypothesis test that matches the legal burden of persuasion without considering jurors' prior probabilities. In particular, it shows why satisfying a test with equal probabilities of false rejections and false acceptances does not necessarily correspond to the more-probable-than-not standard. It discusses alternative procedures to enable statistical experts to assist courts and jurors to infer the true value of a statistical parameter. It suggests that confidence intervals or likelihoods are preferable to assertions of statistical significance.

Keywords: statistical significance, p-value, likelihood, likelihood ratio, Bayes, burden of persuasion, burden of proof, probative value, hypothesis testing, error probabilities, prior probabiity

JEL Classification: C11, C12

Suggested Citation

Kaye, David H., Hypothesis Testing in the Courtroom (1986). Hypothesis Testing in the Courtroom, in Alan E. Gelfand ed., Hypothesis Testing in the Courtroom, 1987, Orlando, FL: Academic Press, Inc., pp. 331–356. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3260802

David H. Kaye (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.personal.psu.edu/dhk3/index.htm

Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law - School of Life Science ( email )

111 E Taylor St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.personal.psu.edu/dhk3/index.htm

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