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Concise, Simple, and Not Wrong: In Search of a Short-Hand Interpretation of Statistical Significance.

Authors
  • Spence, Jeffrey R1
  • Stanley, David J1
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
Volume
9
Pages
2185–2185
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02185
PMID: 30483192
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

One challenge when communicating science to practitioners and the general public is accurately representing statistical results. In particular, describing the meaning of statistical significance to a non-scientific audience is especially difficult given the technical nature of a correct definition. Correct interpretations of statistical significance can be unintuitive, nuanced, and use unfamiliar technical language. As a result, when researchers are tasked with providing short and understandable interpretations of statistical significance it can be tempting to default to convenient but incorrect interpretations. In the current paper, we offer a concise, simple, and correct interpretation of statistical significance that is suitable for communications targeting a general audience.

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