2-16 Don’t confuse “statistical significance” with “importance”

Statistical significance is often confused with importance. The cut-off for considering a result as statistically significant is arbitrary, and statistically non-significant results can be either informative (showing that it is very unlikely that a treatment has an important effect) or inconclusive (showing that the relative effects of the treatments compared are uncertain).

Claims that results were significant or non-significant usually mean that they were not statistically significant or non-significant. This is not the same as important or not important. Do not be misled by such claims.

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