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The P value plot does not provide evidence against air pollution hazards

Hicks, Daniel J. (2022) The P value plot does not provide evidence against air pollution hazards. Environmental Epidemiology, 6 (2). e198. ISSN 2474-7882

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Abstract

Background:

A number of papers by Young and collaborators have criticized epidemiological studies and meta-analyses of air pollution hazards using a graphical method that the authors call a P value plot, claiming to find zero effects, heterogeneity, and P hacking. However, the P value plot method has not been validated in a peer-reviewed publication. The aim of this study was to investigate the statistical and evidentiary properties of this method.

Methods:

A simulation was developed to create studies and meta-analyses with known real effects δ, integrating two quantifiable conceptions of evidence from the philosophy of science literature. The simulation and analysis is publicly available and automatically reproduced.

Results:

In this simulation, the plot did not provide evidence for heterogeneity or P hacking with respect to any condition. Under the right conditions, the plot can provide evidence of zero effects; but these conditions are not satisfied in any actual use by Young and collaborators.

Conclusion:

The P value plot does not provide evidence to support the skeptical claims about air pollution hazards made by Young and collaborators.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hicks, Daniel J.
Subjects: General Issues > Computer Simulation
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Epidemiology
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Dan Hicks
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2022 17:58
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2022 17:58
Item ID: 21181
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Epidemiology
Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1097/EE9.0000000000000198
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1097/EE9.0000000000000198
Subjects: General Issues > Computer Simulation
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Epidemiology
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 2022
Page Range: e198
Volume: 6
Number: 2
ISSN: 2474-7882
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21181

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