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A false negative, also known as Type II or beta error, is an error that occurs when a researcher falsely concludes that there is no effect. Therefore, this is also sometimes referred to as falsely failing to reject the null hypothesis (or simply “falsely failing to reject the null”). It is important to understand the concept of a false negative when conducting communication research so that scholars do not erroneously claim that an effect does not exist and so that scholars do not miss important findings. For example, assume that the true state of the world (reality) is that women have higher emotional intelligence scores than do men. A researcher collects data from a sample of men and women and finds that for this ...

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