Reply to Elliott et al Elliott et al. question the use of a step-wise multivariate analysis procedure with a large variable set. I agree entirely that there are potential risks that can be associated with these statistical procedures when used as part of a large, unspecified “fishing expedition.” However, this clearly was not the case ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   September 01, 1990
Reply to Elliott et al
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula Tallal
    Rutgers University
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   September 01, 1990
Reply to Elliott et al
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1990, Vol. 33, 619. doi:10.1044/jshr.3303.619a
History: Received February 20, 1990 , Accepted March 2, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1990, Vol. 33, 619. doi:10.1044/jshr.3303.619a
History: Received February 20, 1990; Accepted March 2, 1990
Elliott et al. question the use of a step-wise multivariate analysis procedure with a large variable set. I agree entirely that there are potential risks that can be associated with these statistical procedures when used as part of a large, unspecified “fishing expedition.” However, this clearly was not the case in the study in question. Rather, the study was designed, a priori, to assess a well-controlled series of hypotheses, each with its own small set of variables (see Stark and Tallal, 1988, for a detailed description of these studies). Thus, although we had a total of 160 variables available across the study as a whole, the analyses focused on small, well-specified subsets of these variables that assessed individual hypotheses. The results showed that the variable set that best discriminated language-impaired from normal subjects had in common the assessment of specific temporal perception and production capabilities. This approach greatly reduces the risks alluded to by Elliott et al.
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