Calibration of P-values for Testing Precise Null Hypotheses

T. Sellke, M.J. Bayarri, and J. Berger

P-values are the most commonly used tool to measure evidence against a hypothesis or hypothesized model. Unfortunately, they are often incorrectly viewed as an error probability for rejection of the hypothesis or, even worse, as the posterior probability that the hypothesis is true. The fact that these interpretations can be completely misleading when testing precise hypotheses is first reviewed, through consideration of two revealing simulations. Then two calibrations of a P-value are developed, the first being interpretable as odds and the second as either a (conditional) frequentist error probability or as the posterior probability of the hypothesis.

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