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How Large Are Your G-Values? Try Gosset’s Guinnessometrics When a Little “p” Is Not Enough


  • Stephen T. Ziliak


A crisis of validity has emerged from three related crises of science, that is, the crises of statistical significance and complete randomization, of replication, and of reproducibility. Guinnessometrics takes commonplace assumptions and methods of statistical science and stands them on their head, from little p-values to unstructured Big Data. Guinnessometrics focuses instead on the substantive significance which emerges from a small series of independent and economical yet balanced and repeated experiments. Originally developed and market-tested by William S. Gosset aka “Student” in his job as Head Experimental Brewer at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Gosset’s economic and common sense approach to statistical inference and scientific method has been unwisely neglected. In many areas of science and life, the 10 principles of Guinnessometrics or G-values outlined here can help. Other things equal, the larger the G-values, the better the science and judgment. By now a colleague, neighbor, or YouTube junkie has probably shown you one of those wacky psychology experiments in a video involving a gorilla, and testing the limits of human cognition. In one video, a person wearing a gorilla suit suddenly appears on the scene among humans, who are themselves engaged in some ordinary, mundane activity such as passing a basketball. The funny thing is, prankster researchers have discovered, when observers are asked to think about the mundane activity (such as by counting the number of observed passes of a basketball), the unexpected gorilla is frequently unseen (for discussion see Kahneman 2011). The gorilla is invisible. People don’t see it.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen T. Ziliak, 2019. "How Large Are Your G-Values? Try Gosset’s Guinnessometrics When a Little “p” Is Not Enough," The American Statistician, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 73(S1), pages 281-290, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:amstat:v:73:y:2019:i:s1:p:281-290
    DOI: 10.1080/00031305.2018.1514325

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    1. Gunter, Ulrich & Önder, Irem & Smeral, Egon, 2019. "Scientific value of econometric tourism demand studies," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-1.

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