Inductive inference or inductive behavior: Fisher and Neyman-Pearson approaches to statistical testing in psychological research (1940-1960)

Peter F. Halpin, Henderikus J. Stam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The application of statistical testing in psychological research over the period of 1940-1960 is examined in order to address psychologists' reconciliation of the extant controversy between the Fisher and Neyman-Pearson approaches. Textbooks of psychological statistics and the psychological journal literature are reviewed to examine the presence of what Gigerenzer (1993) called a hybrid model of statistical testing. Such a model is present in the textbooks, although the mathematically incomplete character of this model precludes the appearance of a similarly hybridized approach to statistical testing in the research literature. The implications of this hybrid model for psychological research and the statistical testing controversy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-653
Number of pages29
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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