Jacob Cohen (statistician)

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This article is about the statistician. For other people with this name, see Jacob Cohen (disambiguation).

Jacob Cohen (1923 – January 20, 1998) was a United States statistician and psychologist best known for his work on statistical power and effect size, which helped to lay foundations for current statistical meta-analysis[1][2] and the methods of estimation statistics. He gave his name to such measures as Cohen's kappa, Cohen's d, and Cohen's h.

Power analysis and significance testing[edit]

In addition to being an advocate of power analysis and effect size, Cohen was a critic of the standard significance testing procedure used in statistics, which he termed NHST - null hypothesis significance testing. In one example, he showed that NHST would lead us to conclude that, if all we knew about a person was that he or she was a member of congress, we would reject the null hypothesis that he or she was an American. [3]


He received his PhD in clinical psychology at New York University in 1950. Between 1959 and retirement in 1993 he worked in the psychology department at New York University, latterly as the head of the quantitative psychology group.[4]

He was awarded the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Psychological Association in 1997 and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association and the American Statistical Association. [5]

Selected works[edit]

Below are listed some of Cohen's works. Where multiple authors are present, full names are used to facilitate reader searches for other works by those authors.


External links[edit]