Publication Decisions and their Possible Effects on Inferences Drawn from Tests of Significance—or Vice Versa

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There is some evidence that in fields where statistical tests of significance are commonly used, research which yields nonsignificant results is not published. Such research being unknown to other investigators may be repeated independently until eventually by chance a significant result occurs-an “error of the first kind”-and is published. Significant results published in these fields are seldom verified by independent replication. The possibility thus arises that the literature of such a field consists in substantial part of false conclusions resulting from errors of the first kind in statistical tests of significance

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Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading, Paper

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

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Math & Statistics, Social Science

Language(s): English