On the origins of the .05 level of statistical significance

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Examination of the literature in statistics and probability that predates Fisher’s Statistical Methods for Research Workers indicates that although Fisher is responsible for the first formal statement of the .05 criterion for statistical significance, the concept goes back much further. The move toward conventional levels for the rejection of the hypothesis of chance dates from the turn of the century. Early statements about statistical significance were given in terms of the probable error. These earlier conventions were adopted and restated by Fisher.

Link to resource: https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.37.5.553

Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates)

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Math & Statistics

Language(s): English