Statistical Significance

This is a very important and common term in psychology, but one that many people have problems with. Technically, statistical significance is the probability of some result from a statistical test occurring by chance. The point of doing research and running statistical analyses on data is to find truth. In order to do this, you have to take lots of steps to make sure you set up good experiments, use good measures, measure the correct variables, etc...and you have to determine if the findings you get occurred because you ran a good study or by some fluke. Most often, psychologists look for a probability of 5% or less that the results are do to chance, which means a 95% chance the results are "not" due to chance. When you hear that the results of an experiment were stastically significant, it means that you can be 95% sure the results are not due to chance...this is a good thing. :>)

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History of Psychology
History of Psychology