“What is the conclusion of a clinical trial where p=0.6?”

Frank Harrell shares this horror story:

In speaking with PhD students at various graduate programs, it has become clear that those who are not exposed to Bayesian or the likelihoodist schools simply do not understand type I error, p-values, and hypothesis tests.

I asked a group of biostat PhD students at a famous program: “What is the conclusion of a clinical trial where p=0.6?” and they answered “the treatment doesn’t work.”

We, the statistics profession, have to take responsibility for this disastrous state of understanding.