16 April 2014

Of marginal significance...

Have been wondering about the term 'marginally significant' used in research papers. It's a term that wasn't used when I learned statistics a very long time ago. Research results were either significant, at a given level, or not. So I browsed the term and found it is, indeed, acceptable in some settings, for reporting 'non-critical results' (you define what's critical).

Then I found this lovely analysis by epidemiologist, Matthew Hankins, of the p values at which effects are described as marginally significant. I love the annotations.

 And some detailed discussion by Hankins here.

Also a very nice video, 'Dance of the p Values', by Geoff Cumming which starts in the same vein has Hankins' diagram.

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