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>"the poor application of statistics"

It is actually statisticians who are at the root of the problem. There is no proper way to apply the statistics most people are taught (NHST). However, everyone tries (and fails) to come up with some way to use the stats because they can't believe they were taught to perform such a waste of time ritual. See here for a decent overview: http://library.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/ft/gg/GG_Mindless_2004.pdf

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