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  1. The significance of non-significance.

    Article - En anglais

    We discuss the implications of empirical results that are statistically non-significant.

    Figures illustrate the interrelations among effect size, sample sizes and their dispersion, and the power of the experiment.

    All calculations (detailed in Appendix) are based on actual noncentral t-distributions, with no simplifying mathematical or statistical assumptions, and the contribution of each tail is determined separately.

    We emphasize the importance of reporting, wherever possible, the a priori power of a study so that the reader can see what the chances were of rejecting a null hypothesis that was false.

    As a practical alternative, we propose that non-significant inference be qualified by an estimate of the sample size that would be required in a subsequent experiment in order to attain an acceptable level of power under the assumption that the observed effect size in the sample is the same as the true effect size in the population ; appropriate plots are provided for a power of 0.8. We also point out that successive outcomes of independent experiments each of which may not be statistically significant on its own, can be easily combined to give an overall p value that often turns out to be significant.

    And finally, in the event that the p value is high and the power sufficient, a non-significant result may stand and be published as such.

    Mots-clés Pascal : Etude expérimentale, Essai clinique, Interprétation, Test signification, Estimation, Taille échantillon, Résultat expérimental, Homme, Statistique

    Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Experimental study, Clinical trial, Interpretation, Significance test, Estimation, Sample size, Experimental result, Human, Statistics

    Logo du centre Notice produite par :
    Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique

    Cote : 98-0433222

    Code Inist : 002B28A. Création : 25/01/1999.