Statistical Significance

I understand that it means that you can be confident that the results of your experiment are ‘real’ but I’m not quite sure how that can be applied to a scenario.

Less than 5% probability that the results occurred by chance.

In principle, a statistically significant result (usually a difference) is a result that’s not attributed to chance. More technically, it means that if the Null Hypothesis is true (which means there really is no difference), there’s a low probability of getting a result that large or larger.

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When psychologists do the science/math portion of psychology, they calculate whether or not their results are statistically significant. In an authentic context, let’s say you’re doing a study to see if a medication helps with depression. You might see an improvement in that person’s level of depression, but that could be because of chance or some random other variable. Knowing that a treatment is statistically significant tells us that the change in the person pre/post treatment is due to the treatment in question and not due to chance.

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