Show Summary Details
Page of

Why we should be Bayesians (and often already are without realizing it) 

Why we should be Bayesians (and often already are without realizing it)
Why we should be Bayesians (and often already are without realizing it)

Neil Pearce

and Marine Corbin

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 October 2020

Most epidemiologists write their Methods and Results sections as frequentists and their Introduction and Discussion sections as Bayesians. In their Methods and Results sections, they ‘test’ their findings as if their data are the only data that exist. In the Introduction and Discussion, they discuss their findings with regard to their consistency with previous studies, as well as other issues such as biological plausibility. This creates tensions when a small study has findings which are not statistically significant but which are consistent with prior knowledge or when a study finds statistically significant findings which are inconsistent with prior knowledge. Thus, in practice, almost all epidemiologists profess to be frequentists, but in practice are qualitative Bayesians. In some (but not all) instances, things can be made clearer if we include Bayesian methods are included formally in the Methods and Results sections of our papers and epidemiologists act as quantitative, as well as qualitative, Bayesians.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.