South Australian Branch Meeting, February 2019
Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos is a visiting research fellow at the School of Psychology and casual lecturer at the School of Education, both at the University of Adelaide. From November 2014 to December 2016, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University (Sweden). His research interests include the embodiment of language and emotions, cross-modality, and statistics/methodology. So it was good to have Fernando give an informative and interesting talk about making the most of your curves, with a sub-title towards robust and distributional approaches to data description and analyses.
The goal of Fernando’s talk was to highlight how the shape of the data can be better described by identifying their location, scale and shape parameters. Across many fields it’s canonical to describe data in terms of means and standard deviations. While such estimations of location and scale are appropriate for normally distributed data, more often than not data tend to follow non-normal shapes (e.g. reaction times). Fernando used a range of datasets from different fields to highlight his points. Indeed, most statistical tests assume normality and homogeneity of variance in order to output unbiased results; therefore, biased results occur when data do not meet those assumptions.
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By Paul Sutcliffe