Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Public Health. 1988 Dec;78(12):1568-74.

Evidence and scientific research.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205.

Erratum in

  • Am J Public Health 1989 Mar;79(3):273.


This commentary reviews the arguments for and against the use of p-values put forward in the Journal and other forums, and shows that they are all missing both a measure and concept of "evidence." The mathematics and logic of evidential theory are presented, with the log-likelihood ratio used as the measure of evidence. The profoundly different philosophy behind evidential methods (as compared to traditional ones) is presented, as well as a comparative example showing the difference between the two approaches. The reasons why we mistakenly ascribe evidential meaning to p-values and related measures are discussed. Unfamiliarity with the technology and philosophy of evidence is seen as the main reason why certain arguments about p-values persist, and why they are frequently contradictory and confusing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center