The evolution of statistical methods in speech, language, and hearing sciences

Jacob J. Oleson, Grant D. Brown, Ryan McCreery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: Scientists in the speech, language, and hearing sciences rely on statistical analyses to help reveal complex relationships and patterns in the data collected from their research studies. However, data from studies in the fields of communication sciences and disorders rarely conform to the underlying assumptions of many traditional statistical methods. Fortunately, the field of statistics provides many mature statistical techniques that can be used to meet today’s challenges involving complex studies of behavioral data from humans. In this review article, we highlight several techniques and general approaches with promising application to analyses in the speech and hearing sciences. Method: The goal of this review article is to provide an overview of potentially underutilized statistical methods with promising application in the speech, language, and hearing sciences. Results: We offer suggestions to identify when alternative statistical approaches might be advantageous when analyzing proportion data and repeated measures data. We also introduce the Bayesian paradigm and statistical learning and offer suggestions for when a scientist might consider those methods. Conclusion: Modern statistical techniques provide more flexibility and enable scientists to ask more direct and informative research questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-506
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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