Bayesian reanalyses from summary statistics: A guide for academic consumers


Across the social sciences, researchers have overwhelmingly used the classical statistical paradigm to draw conclusions from data, often focusing heavily on a single number: p. Recent years, however, have witnessed a surge of interest in an alternative statistical paradigm: Bayesian inference, in which probabilities are attached to parameters and models. We feel it is informative to provide statistical conclusions that go beyond a single number, and -regardless of one's statistical preference - it can be prudent to report the results from both the classical and the Bayesian paradigm. In order to promote a more inclusive and insightful approach to statistical inference we show how the open-source software program JASP ( provides a set of comprehensive Bayesian reanalyses from just a few commonly-reported summary statistics such as t and N. These Bayesian reanalyses allow researchers - and also editors, reviewers, readers, and reporters - to quantify evidence on a continuous scale, assess the robustness of that evidence to changes in the prior distribution, and gauge which posterior parameter ranges are more credible than others by examining the posterior distribution of the effect size. The procedure is illustrated using the seminal Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) study on cognitive dissonance.


Ly, A., Raj, A., Etz, A., Marsman, M., & Wagenmakers, E. (2018). Bayesian reanalyses from summary statistics: A guide for academic consumers. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 1, 367–374.


    title   = {{B}ayesian reanalyses from summary statistics: {A} guide for academic consumers},
    author  = {Ly, Alexander and Raj, A. and Etz, Alexander and Marsman, M. and Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan},
    year    = {2018},
    journal = {Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science},
    volume  = {1},
    pages   = {367--374}