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

Spence, Jeffrey R.; Stanley, David J.
November 2018
Frontiers in Psychology;11/13/2018, pN.PAG
Academic Journal
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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