The mathematics of beliefs

Among the web resources mentioned above, I find particularly enlighting Jon Butterworth's blob on the Guardian[13]. Let us go back to the expression he used to explain the statistical meaning of the result, and compare it with the last paragraph of the article, split here into three pieces (1-3):
``the paper quotes a one-in-ten-thousand (0.0001) chance that this bump is a fluke.''
``My money is on the false alarm at the moment,...''
``...but I would be very happy to lose it.''
``And I reserve the right to change my mind rapidly as more data come in!''
We have already seen that proposition (0) is just a misleading misinterpretation of p-values, about which there is little to discuss. Instead, the last paragraph is a masterpiece of correct good reasoning (I would almost say Good's reasoning[22]), that deserves some comments.


Giulio D'Agostini 2012-01-02