KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

What Is Significance Testing?

Erin Ruel

Sometimes we come to our analyses with certain hypotheses and we want to assess whether or not our hypothesis is correct. A hypothesis is a proposition about a population characteristic or association. Sample data are used to test the hypotheses. For example, we may have started a study of education hypothesizing that the mean GPA level is 3.5. We can use a significance test to assess the hypothesis by comparing the sample mean GPA to the hypothesized value.

The significance test starts with two hypotheses. The first is the research hypothesis that the researcher is making. The second is called the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis contradicts the research hypothesis. It suggests there is no effect. In this example of ...

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