Independence of data points in the measurement of hand preferences in primates: Statistical problem or urban myth?
Version of Record online: 4 MAR 2013
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 151, Issue 1, pages 151–157, May 2013
How to Cite
Hopkins, W. D. (2013), Independence of data points in the measurement of hand preferences in primates: Statistical problem or urban myth?. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 151: 151–157. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22248
- Issue online: 17 APR 2013
- Version of Record online: 4 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 18 JUL 2012
- NIH . Grant Numbers: NS-42867 , NS-73134 , HD-56232 , HD-60563
- nonhuman primates;
Lack of independence of data points or the pooling fallacy has been suggested as a potential problem in the study of handedness in nonhuman primates, particularly as it relates to whether hand use responses should be recorded as individual events or bouts of activity. Here, I argue that there is no evidence that the concept of statistical independence of data points or the pooling fallacy is a problem in the evaluation of population-level handedness in previous studies in nonhuman primates. I further argue these statistical concepts have been misapplied to the characterization of individual hand preferences. Finally, I argue that recording hand use responses as bouts rather than events has no significant effect on reports of hand use in nonhuman primates and, in fact, may unintentionally bias hand use toward the null hypothesis. Several suggestions for improvement in the measurement and statistical determination of individual handedness are offered in the article. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:151–157, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.