I am grateful for feedback from Eric Bradlow, Alexander Chernev, John Deighton, Adam Duhachek, Jennifer Escalas, Kent Grayson, Donald Lehmann, Sidney Levy, Mary Frances Luce, Robert Meyer, James Oakley, Joseph Priester, Americus Reed, and Howard Wainer.

Periodically, social scientists debate the strengths and weaknesses of hypothesis testing (for which researchers pose the question, e.g., “Are my group means the same or different?”) compared with effects estimation (motivated by the question, “How large is the difference between my group means?”). As is often the case, the extreme positions are clear but they approach ideology, and a moderate stance seems the more constructive prescription.

The testing of null hypotheses affords researchers many advantages (Abelson 1997; Cortina and Dunlap 1997; Frick 1996; Greenwald et al. 1996; Hagen 1997; Harris 1997; Mulaik, Raju, and Harshman 1997). Of primary importance,...

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