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Statistical Testing, Statistical Significance and Why they are Contentious
Statistical Testing, Statistical Significance and Why they are Contentious
6.1. Introduction

Methods of statistical testing are found in almost any textbook introduction to statistics. However, traditional ways of conducting and evaluating statistical tests are increasingly questioned, especially in the social sciences, when the data do not constitute a random sample of a population. Blithe conformity to orthodox practice has been denounced as bad science that can misdirect policy, waste money and, in some circumstances, cost lives. A particular proposition has proved particularly problematic. Called the p-value, it has provoked pages of polemic in print.

The basic idea of statistical testing is simple enough. It is used to test whether some level of difference (or association) between two or ...

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