A gentle introduction to bayesian analysis: applications to developmental research

Child Dev. May-Jun 2014;85(3):842-860. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12169. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Abstract

Bayesian statistical methods are becoming ever more popular in applied and fundamental research. In this study a gentle introduction to Bayesian analysis is provided. It is shown under what circumstances it is attractive to use Bayesian estimation, and how to interpret properly the results. First, the ingredients underlying Bayesian methods are introduced using a simplified example. Thereafter, the advantages and pitfalls of the specification of prior knowledge are discussed. To illustrate Bayesian methods explained in this study, in a second example a series of studies that examine the theoretical framework of dynamic interactionism are considered. In the Discussion the advantages and disadvantages of using Bayesian statistics are reviewed, and guidelines on how to report on Bayesian statistics are provided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem*
  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Human Development*
  • Humans