GraphPad Statistics Guide

Advice: Avoid the word "significant"

Advice: Avoid the word "significant"

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Advice: Avoid the word "significant"

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The word "significant" has two meanings in research:

A P value is less than a preset threshold (often 0.05) so reject the null hypothesis and state the results are deemed statistically significant.

A difference (or ratio or correlation...) is large enough that you think the result has biological (or scientific or practical) relevance.

 

To avoid this ambiguity, don't use the S word. If the P value is less than a threshold, say so. If an observed effect is large enough to be relevant, say so. The word "significant" is never needed.