Hello everyone,

I am looking for some ‘peer-review’ of the approach I have taken to test contrasts. I have estimated a robust hierarchical model (using the student() family) and the pp_check and loo() are good, so I am not going to the details of the models as I don’t think it is necessary to evaluate the question, but I am happy to follow up if useful.

The models have the form:

y ~ 1 + group * stimuli + (1 + B | subject)

where:

y: continuous

group: categorical, 2 levels between subjects

stimuli: categorical, 6 levels within subjects

We are interested in estimating contrasts between the 6 levels of B within the 2 levels of A

In order to estimate various hypotheses, e.g. that stimulus_1 > stimulus_2 within group_1 but not within group_2. Based on different discussions here, it seemed that using the brms::hypothesis() is a good way to achieve such comparisons but it requires specifying the contrasts manually, whereas emmeans() provides a convenient way to compute conditional/marginal means from the posterior distribution. So I tried to replicate what hypothesis() does, from the emmeans() output using the following:

## 1. setup contrast terms

```
stim_1 = c(1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0)
stim_2 = c(0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
# and so on
planned_contrasts = c( contrast_1 = stim_1 - stim_2,
contrast_2 = ...)
```

## 2. compute contrasts and test directional hypotheses

```
require(brms)
require(emmeans)
require(tidybayes)
model %>%
emmeans(., specs = eval(str2expression(specs))) %>%
contrast(method = contrastList) %>%
gather_emmeans_draws() %>%
group_by(contrast) %>%
summarise(Est.error = sd(.value),
median_hdi(.value),
Post.prob = sum(.value > 0)/n(),
Evid.ratio01 = Post.prob / (1 - Post.prob),
Evid.ratio10 = 1/Evid.ratio01
)
```

## 3 hierarchical contrasts

Finally, we wanted to explore whether there are “main” effects of stimuli, before looking into the effects of group, so when computing the marginal means, I report separetely the result of `emmeans (model, specs = ~ stimuli)`

, and the result of `emmeans( model, specs = ~ stimuli | group)`

.

The results seems sensible, but as I am still learning the bayesian/brms approach, I wanted to check if this appears a sound approach to others? Thank you!