Preprint / Version 1

Will the numbers really love you back?

Re-examining Magnitude-based Inference


  • Michael L. Butson



medicine, methods, science, sport, statistics


Many sports medicine and sports science researchers use Null Hypothesis Significance Testing despite it being criticized for being an amalgam of two irreconcilable methodologies. Hopkins and Batterham proposed Magnitude-based Inference as an alternative to Null Hypothesis Significance Testing; however, its validity and utility has also been questioned. Recently, it was suggested that the critics of Magnitude-based Inference lacked vision and that their objections to Magnitude-based inference should be ignored. However, a re-examination of Hopkins and Batterham’s explanation of their method indicates that they use profoundly different approaches in ways that are at odds with their theoretical foundations and intended purposes. If Hopkins and Batterham were to provide a full account of how their method is implemented, it could be comprehensively assessed. Until then, sports medicine and sports science researchers should use other theoretically valid methods that have had their utility established.