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Thread: The phrase "a significant result"

  1. #1
    Dec 2009

    The phrase "a significant result"

    I was asked to use the term "probability" to explain what is meant by the phrase "a significant result" here's what i got....

    The phrase "a significant result" is if it is unlikely that a sample like the one chosen would have the probability to occur by chance if the null hypothesis is true.

    If someone could check if this makes sense and if i used the term correctly. Thanks !
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  2. #2
    Super Member
    Jul 2009
    Makes sense to me. It can be a little tricky to figure out what they mean by "statistically significant", but if you think about it in terms of the normal distribution (or whatever distribution you are using to test a hypothesis), what p-values and "significance" levels are saying, is that if you get a result that falls OUTSIDE of our significance level, or a test statistic that has a p-value way small (smaller than say a .05 significance level), then the only way the null hypothesis could possibly be true, is if you got that result by some divine miracle considering the chances are SO small. Therefore there has to be another explanation (that null hypothesis is false is one). Generally this means that the sample you have either didn't come from the same population that the null hypothesis is representing. The interpretation is of couse different depending on what kind of test you are running. Overall though you've have it right.
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