Realism article in Theory & Psych

Dr. Frank Arocha has just published an article on scientific realism in the journal Theory & Psychology. The title of the article is: Scientific Realism and the Issue of Variability in Behavior. Here’s a link to the abstract:

The paper is broad in scope and offers a clear exposition of important issues facing modern psychologists and how we might move forward from a realist perspective. This will be required reading in my courses at OSU.

New Version Available

A new version of the OOM software has been uploaded. A number of minor bugs have been removed from the program, and a new option for generating data from proportions and frequencies (contingency tables) has been added. A video demonstrating this new feature has been uploaded to the Instructional Videos page (see link to the right, or click here). Two new videos for editing multigrams have also been added.  Please update your version of the software, and please let me know if you find any bugs in the software or have any issues when using it.

Bacon’s Idols

Here’s a pithy article (behind a paywall) by Kevin Weinfurt of Duke University in which he revisits Francis Bacon’s famous idols:  Here’s my favorite quote: “And finally, the Idols of the Theater might be updated to include the uncritical adherence to systems of ritualized rules intended to automate the inductive activities of scientists” (p. 1312). One such system is of course Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (“p < .05”). I am hopeful OOM will encourage us to avoid statistical rituals and to instead always engage our data in a theoretically meaningful manner.  

West Texas A&M Visit

A sincere word of thanks to the faculty and staff of West Texas A&M University for hosting a talk on OOM last Friday, February 14th. I am particularly appreciative of John Richeson (an OSU alumnus!) and Mark Garrison for making the visit possible. West Texas A&M is growing and has a strong core of faculty…and, as a personally relevant fact, the university has an outstanding bowling program!

A Cautionary Paper on Complex Models

Thanks to Paul Barrett for alerting us to this newly published paper: Saylors, R., & Trafimow, D. (2020). Why the increasing use of complex causal models is a problem: On the danger sophisticated theoretical narratives pose to truth. Organizational Research Methods ( ), In Press, , 1-14. [paywall]

As pointed out by the authors, “As use of complex models increases, the joint probability a published model is true decreases.”
The paper comes with a calculator to compute said probability:

An analogous concern in OOM is that as a path model increases in complexity, fewer and fewer individuals will be traceable through the model. It is easy to imagine a complex path model in which not a single person can be accurately traced through all of the links. What use would such a model be as an explication of causes and effects? Of course, this information can only be known if the researcher attempts to perform such person-centered analyses.

2019 Posts

  • October 27th, 2019. A special thanks to Chris Cunningham at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga for his invitation to present at the 15th Annual River Cities I-O (RCIO) Psychology Conference, October 25-26, 2019. I was to present a talk titled “Person-centered data analyses: Observation Oriented Modeling as an alternative and rational data analytics approach.” Unfortunately, due to illness I was not able to attend, and our attempts to present via the internet were not successful. The Powerpoint slides are nonetheless available upon request.
  • Congratulations (!) to Valentine, Buchanan, Scofield, and Beauchamp on the publication of their paper “Beyond p values: Ultilizing multiple methods to evaluate evidence” published in Behaviormetrika, 46(1), 121-144. They compare NHST, Bayes, and OOM methods for analyzing repeated measures data.  
  • March 20th, 2019. A special thanks (!) to David Trafimow and the faculty and students at New Mexico State Universityfor hosting a talk on OOM. It was a pleasure and an honor to visit, especially given my affinity for the Desert Southwest. Godspeed to Dr. Trafimow and several of his colleagues as well as they continue to fight the good fight against NHST.  
  • January 22nd, 2019. Congratulations to Craig and Abramson on their recent publication covering Ordinal Pattern Analysis! It can be found in the International Journal of Comparative Psychology. Craig, D. P, & Abramson, C. I. (2018). Ordinal pattern analysis in comparative psychology – A flexible alternative to null hypothesis significance testing using an observation oriented modeling paradigm. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 31. Retrieved from

2018 Posts

  • October 15th, 2018. A special thanks to Kevin Weinfurt and the faculty and staff at Duke University Medical School, Department of Population Health Sciences for hosting two talks and a workshop on OOM! I am also particularly grateful for the commentary of Daniel Mark and Rick Hoyle, and the discussion time with Bryce ReevePatrick Curran, and others. With his permission, I’ve uploaded Rick Hoyle’s Powerpoint slides here for viewing.
  • July 17th, 2018. A special thanks to Elizabeth McClure from the Lego Foundation. She visited my lab at Oklahoma State University this week to study OOM with the hopes of bringing more person-centered methods to projects sponsored by the foundation.
  • May 15th, 2018. Congratulations to David Trafimow and many other authors for their paper titled: Manipulating the alpha level cannot cure significance testing online in Frontiers in Psychology (Quantitative Psychology and Measurement). We published this paper in response to arguments for lowering the standard p-critical value from .05 to .005 as a way to improve psychological research and to help cure the replication problem in psychology. As we have argued extensively in our OOM papers, NHST should largely be abandoned and replaced with integrated modeling, non-parametric (pattern-based) types of analyses, randomization tests, and — of course — exact replication.  
  • April 14th, 2018. Congratulations to Eliwid Medellin who presented a poster at the 64th annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association in Houston, TX! Here’s his poster titled Logical Hypothesis Testing. He reports results from two studies showing how logical combinations can be evaluated in OOM.  Eliwid was also selected as the Student of the Month for May of 2018. Congratulations, Eliwid!
  • April 14th, 2018. Congratulations to Meggie Baker who presented a poster at the 64th annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association in Houston, TX! Here’s her poster titled Person-Centered Methods for Personality Profiling. She reports results from her summer project from OSU’s American Indians Into Psychology program at OSU. Her study examined the use of the Ordinal Analysis option in OOM to detect group personal profiles.
  • March 23rd, 2018. A sincere thank-you to the faculty, students, and staff of Baylor University! A particular word of gratitude to Alex Beaujean, who orchestrated my visit during which I delivered a talk and short workshop on the OOM software. It was a pleasure meeting the wonderful faculty, and it was an honor to visit Baylor University and Waco, Texas!
  • March 3rd, 2018. I presented a brief talk titled: Methodological Incorrigibility and its Cost to Innovation. I presented at the 9th Midwinter Meeting of the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Phoenix, AZ. March 3rd, 2018. My talk was part of a symposium titled: Scientific Psychology’s Troubling Methodological Incorrigibility: Its Nature, Sources, and Possible Solutions, James Lamiell, Chair.

2017 Posts

  • December 23rd, 2017. Congratulations to Evan Jordan and David Thomas who published a paper titled Contagious Positive Affective Responses to Laughter in Infancy in Archives of Psychology (Vol 1, no. 2). The paper is open access and demonstrates use of the Ordinal Pattern (Concatenated Orderings) analysis in the OOM software.
  • December, 2017. Congratulations to Lisa D. Cota, newly minted OSU Ph.D.! She defended her dissertation (in my absence, due to a medical issue) titled An Examination of Alternatives to Null Hypothesis Significance Testing. She conducted simulations comparing OOM to Bayesian statistics. Here’s the summary
  • October 29th, 2017. All of the dated instructional videos have been deleted. New videos are included under the Instructional Videos link to the right. With any luck, I’ll build a large set of videos in the coming months so that a person can learn the software through independent study.  
  • September 8th, 2017. I’ve published a short comment regarding NHST in Basic and Applied Social PsychologyComment on Locascio’s Results Blind Manuscript Evaluation Proposal.
  • September 4th, 2017. Congratulations to Sebastian Sauer who has published a paper titled Observation Oriented Modeling Revised from a Statistical Point of View. The paper appears in the latest online pre-prints at Behavior Research Methods. Here’s an interesting quote from the paper: “In sum, our refined OOM approach is optimal in terms of the regression of indicator matrices and can be seen as a naive Bayes classifier, methods that are well known in statistical learning (Hastie et al., 2009). Unless stated otherwise, we have used this revised version of OOM throughout the paper.” In the Build/Test Model feature of the OOM software, Sauer’s refined approach can be accessed by selecting the “Conforming Only” normalization option. As pointed out by Sauer, the results will be equivalent to a Bayesian classifier.   
  • August 15th, 2017. We’ve published a paper titled Four Bad Habits of Modern Psychologists in Behavioral Sciences. I will be posting the data sets and instructional videos on how we analyzed the data in OOM in the near future. Citation: Grice, J., Barrett, P., Cota, L., Felix, C., Taylor, Z., Garner, S., Medellin, E., & Vest, A. (2017). Four Bad Habits of Modern Psychologists. Behavioral Sciences, 7(3), 53. doi:10.3390/bs7030053
  • February 14th, 2017. Congratulations to Michaluk, L. M., DeVore, S., Stewart, G. B., and Stewart, J. C. for publishing their recent book chapter New Directions in Educational Research Methodology and Analytical Techniques [Chapter 4, pp. 90-131, in D’Souza, M. J., SJ (Editor) Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Emerging Trends, United Scholars Publications, USA, 2016]. They compared OOM with traditional statistics in analyses of gender differences in test scores and self-efficacy.

2016 Posts

  • August 2nd, 2016. We have published a paper demonstrating the new Threshold Analysis in OOM which can be used as an alternative to logistic regression analysis. The Threshold Analysis also permits the automatic construction of logical combinations of orderings. Here’s the paper: A Simple and Transparent Alternative to Logistic Regression. Advances in Social Science Research Journal, 3(7), 147-165.
  • July 7th, 2016. Congratulations to Gatobu, Arocha, and Hoffman-Goetz on their recent paper Numeracy, Health Numeracy, and Older Immigrants’ Primary Language: An Observation-Oriented Exploration published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology. Here’s a link to the abstract:
  • May 27th, 2016. An updated version of the OOM software was posted along with an updated version of the technical manual (in MS Word format). Please follow the link to the right to download the program and manual for free.
  • March 30th, 2016. Congratulations to Lübke and Sauer who presented a poster at the annual DAGStat meeting in Göttingen, 16 March 2016. Here’s a link to the poster:   and a link to the data: They conclude: “Observation Oriented Modelling [Grice, 2011] was proposed to overcome some of the problems in the application of statistical inference methods in human and behavioural sciences. We review and refine this approach and show connections to methods well known in statistical learning. From this point of view it can be shown that Observation Oriented Modellng can indeed be appropriate for some of the tasks in the analysis of observed data. For a practical example, the revised method is demonstrated by analysing the effect of mindfulness training on attentional processes.”
  • January 11th, 2016. Craig et al. have published yet another paper using OOM! Here’s the citation and link: Craig, D. P. A., & Abramson C. I. (2015). A need for individual data analyses for assessments of temporal control: Invertebrate fixed interval performance. International Journal of Comparative Psychology – Special Issue on Timing and Time Perception, 28, 1-39.