[R] Chi-Square Test Disagreement

Andrew Choens andy.choens at gmail.com
Wed Nov 26 18:57:52 CET 2008

On Thu, 2008-11-27 at 00:46 +0800, Berwin A Turlach wrote:
> Chuck explained already the reason for this small difference.  I just
> take issue about it being an important difference.  In my opinion,
> this difference is not important at all.  It would only be important
> to people who are still sticking to arbitrary cut-off points that are
> mainly due to historical coincidences and the lack of computing power
> at those time in history.  If somebody tells you that this difference
> is important, ask him or her whether he or she will be willing to
> finance you a room full of calculators (in the sense of Pearson's
> time) and whether he or she wants you to do all your calculations and
> analyses with these calculators in future.  Alternatively, you could
> ask the person whether he or she would like the anaesthetist during
> his or her next operation to use chloroform given his or her nostalgic
> penchant for out-dated rituals/methods.

Yes he did and when I realized the source of my confusion I was
appropriately chastised. I felt like a bit of a fool. Of course, I
should try comparing apples to apples. Oranges are another thing

As to the importance of the difference, I am of two minds. On the one
hand I fully agree with you. It is an anachronistic approach. On the
other hand we don't all have the pleasure of working in a math
department where such subtleties are well understood.

I work for a consulting firm that advises state and local governments
(USA). I personally do try to expand my understanding on statistics and
math (I do not have a degree in math), but my clients do not. When I'm
working with someone from the government, it is sometimes easier to
simply tell them that relationship x is significant at a certain level
of certainty. Although I doubt they could really explain the details,
they have some basic understanding of what I am talking about.
Subtleties are sometimes lost on our public servants.

And, since I do work for government, if I ask for a roomful of
calculators, I might just get them. And really, what am I going to do
with a roomful of calculators?


Insert something humorous here.  :-)

More information about the R-help mailing list