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Error Rates

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Edited by: Published: 2010
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In research, error rate takes on different meanings in different contexts, including measurement and inferential statistical analysis. When measuring research participants’ performance using a task with multiple trials, error rate is the proportion of responses that are incorrect. In this manner, error rate can serve as an important dependent variable. In inferential statistics, errors have to do with the probability of making a false inference about the population based on the sample data. Therefore, estimating and managing error rates are crucial to effective quantitative research.

This entry mainly discusses issues involving error rates in measurement. Error rates in statistical analysis are mentioned only briefly because they are covered in more detail under other entries.

Error Rates in Measurement

In a task with objectively correct responses (e.g., a memory ...

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