Posted by: rayseghers | October 27, 2009

The IOT Test of Significance

As promised in earlier post about statistical significance and meaningfulness, I will share something I learned a long time ago – the IOT test.

When I first came to The University of Michigan I joined the Engineering Psychology Laboratory headed by Dr. Ward Edwards.  At EPL we did behavioral studies of driver impairment as well as more theoretical decision theory experiments.  One day as we were listening to a preliminary results presentation, the discussion turned to statistics.  We were debating which test to use and trying to determine “how significant” the results had to be before we got excited.

Ward let us go on for a while and then calmly interjected that the only statistical test that persuaded him was the IOT test.   Please realize that we had PhDs and graduate students in the conference room.  We all looked at each other and then someone finally said “What the heck is the IOT test?”

Ward replied “The Intra-Ocular Trauma Test.”  Huh?

Ward replied that if the results don’t hit you right between the eyes then they weren’t meaningful.


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