How Significance Tests Should Be Presented To Avoid The Typical Misinterpretations


Book: 
Proceedings of the sixth international conference on teaching statistics, Developing a statistically literate society
Authors: 
Krauss, S. & Wassner, C.
Editors: 
Phillips, B.
Category: 
Pages: 
Online
Year: 
2002
Publisher: 
International Statistical Institute
URL: 
http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications/1/3m4_krau.pdf
Abstract: 

The use of significance tests in science has been debated from the invention of these tests until the present time. Apart from theoretical critiques on their appropriateness for evaluating scientific hypotheses, significance tests also receive criticism for inviting misinterpretations. Although these misinterpretations are well documented, until now there has been little research on pedagogical methods to remove them. Rather, they are considered "hard facts" that are impervious to correction. We discuss the roots of these misinterpretations and propose a pedagogical concept to teach significance tests, which involves explaining the meaning of statistical significance in an appropriate way. The present contribution is based on Krauss and Wassner (2001) and Haller and Krauss (in press).

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