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WA Branch Meeting - Dr Adriano Polpo - Hypothesis Tests: Using Adaptive Significance Levels for Decisions

  • 11 Jun 2019
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM (WAST)
  • Biological Sciences Lecture Theatre, Murdoch University, Perth WA

Announcing a meeting of the Statistical Society of Australia, W.A. Branch.

6:00 p.m. on Tuesday 11th June 2019




Hypothesis Tests: Using Adaptive Significance Levels for Decisions

Dr Adriano Polpo

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UWA


We statisticians know of the inconsistency, or paradox, in the current classical tests of significance that are based on p-value statistics that are compared to the canonical significance levels (10%, 5%, and 1%). We argue that researchers do not need to completely abandon the p-value, the best-known significance index, but should instead stop using significance levels that do not depend on sample sizes. A testing procedure is developed using a mixture of frequentist and Bayesian tools, with a significance level that is a function of sample size, obtained from a generalized form of the Neyman–Pearson Lemma. The resulting hypothesis tests do not violate the Likelihood Principle and do not require any constraints on the dimensionalities of the sample space and parameter space.


Dr. Adriano Polpo is a statistician who likes to develop new methods and to study the statistical theory underlying practical approaches, and to do so properly he considers that it is necessary to work with real challenges. In the search of such challenges, he was introduced to many different problems in Statistics and collaborated with many researchers in other fields.

Adriano is a graduate of the State University of Campinas, has obtained his PhD from the University of Sao Paulo, and has taken a post-doctoral sabbatical at Florida State University. He has been mainly working with reliability/survival analysis, regression models for counting data and Bayesian nonparametric methods. He has been also working with statistical hypothesis testing. He was Associate Professor at Federal University of Sao Carlos. Currently, Adriano is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia.

His research agenda aims at providing solutions to many different problems, from functional analysis of human gait, studies of the impact of copper nano-particles in algae (carbon farming), latency to treatment in OCD patients, to methods for the proper use of statistical hypothesis tests.

Members and guests are invited to mingle over wine and cheese from 5:30 p.m. onwards in Biological Sciences Lecture Theatre, Murdoch University.  Following the meeting you are invited to dine with the speaker at a nearby restaurant.  Visitors are welcome.

For further information please contact the Branch Secretary, Rick Tankard, Murdoch University.  He can be reached by email at or by phone at (08) 9360 2820.

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