Misuse of statistical tests in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology publications

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2005 Dec;20(8):1053-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acn.2005.06.006. Epub 2005 Aug 10.


This article reviews the (mis)use of statistical tests in neuropsychology research studies published in the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology in the years 1990-1992 and 1996-2000, and 2001-2004, prior to, commensurate with the internet-based and paper-based release, and following the release of the American Psychological Association's Task Force on Statistical Inference. The authors focused on four statistical errors: inappropriate use of null hypothesis tests, inappropriate use of P-values, neglect of effect size, and inflation of Type I error rates. Despite the recommendations of the Task Force on Statistical Inference published in 1999, the present study recorded instances of these statistical errors both pre- and post-APA's report, with only the reporting of effect size increasing after the release of the report. Neuropsychologists involved in empirical research should be better aware of the limitations and boundaries of hypothesis testing as well as the theoretical aspects of research methodology.

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • Empirical Research*
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Statistics as Topic / standards*