In an increasingly data-driven world, it is more important than ever for students as well as professionals to better understand basic statistical concepts. 100 Questions (and Answers) About Statistics addresses the essential questions that students ask about statistics in a concise and accessible way. It is perfect for instructors, students, and practitioners as a supplement to more comprehensive materials, or as a desk reference with quick answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What Is the Concept of Significance, and Why Is It Important?

What Is the Concept of Significance, and Why Is It Important?

Understanding the concept of significance can be a bit challenging, but it is basically as follows: Statistical findings are significant if the outcomes of an experiment are more likely to occur because of what the experimenter did than due to chance.

You may remember that in question #63, we made the point that the null hypothesis is important because it is a starting point where we assume that there is no relationship between variables, no differences between groups, etc. In other words, unless we can explain why there may be an observed difference between groups, we assume that any difference we find is due to chance factors.

For example, let’s look at two groups of ...