Multiple Choice

The Psychology Department was having their annual talent show. Gilbert got up to sing his latest composition, “I Got the P-Greater-Than-Point-O-5 Blues.” Why is this funny?

A

A statistical significance of *p*>.05 means that the probability of correctly rejecting the null hypothesis – finding that groups being compared are significantly different from one another – is greater than 5% of the time, or in other words, unacceptably high and likely to be a finding produced by random chance.

B

The accepted level of statistical significance is *p*>.0001 in order to conclude that a result reveals a systematic difference, rather than pure chance alone.

C

“*p*>05” is what every statistician hopes to find, because it indicates a statistically significant difference between groups, but it almost never happens; it’s more like an ideal or an abstraction than a reality.

D

Most statisticians agree that *p*>.10 is the accepted criterion for determining statistical significance, but there has been some debate within the past 15 years about changing that to *p*>.05, so the debate is what’s humorous here.

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