Five Bayesian Intuitions for the Stopping Rule Principle
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Five Bayesian Intuitions for the Stopping Rule Principle

  • Author(s): Wagenmakers, Eric–Jan;
  • Gronau, Quentin F;
  • Vandekerckhove, Joachim
  • et al.
Abstract

Is it statistically appropriate to monitor evidence for or against a hypothesis as the data accumulate, and stop whenever this evidence is deemed sufficiently compelling? Researchers raised in the tradition of frequentist inference may intuit that such a practice will bias the results and may even lead to “sampling to a foregone conclusion”. In contrast, the Bayesian formalism entails that the decision on whether or not to terminate data collection is irrelevant for the assessment of the strength of the evidence. Here we provide five Bayesian intuitions for why the rational updating of beliefs ought not to depend on the decision when to stop data collection, that is, for the Stopping Rule Principle.

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