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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

2 - Developments in statistical methods applied over four decades of research in the Taï Chimpanzee Project

Summary

The statistical methods used in projects conducted within the Taï Chimpanzee Project have changed considerably in the ongoing duration (about four decades) of this project. In particular, while initially classic tests focusing on statistical significance dominated the analyses, we now largely see the application of linear models. Here, I review this change and discuss the implications it has, and I also compare and contrast the classic statistical tests with contemporary analytical approaches. I argue that modelling not only allows for a better control of confounders and sources of non-independence, but also means to address more informative questions and, hence, reveals more informative answers. Finally, I discuss to what extent carefully designed models bridge the gap between the gold standard (randomized experiments) and observational studies.

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