Simple Tests of Hypotheses for the Non-statistician: What They Are and Why They Can Go Bad

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Abstract

Hypothesis testing is a central component of most statistical analyses. The focal point of these tests is often the significance level, but what does this value really mean and how can we effectively use it? And perhaps more importantly, what are the pitfalls and dangers in its interpretation? As we conduct statistical tests of hypotheses, are there other things that we should be doing or looking out for that will aid us in our decision making?

After years of academic study, professional statisticians will spend additional years gaining a practical knowledge and experience so that they can correctly conduct and correctly interpret the results of statistical tests. You cannot gain these insights over night, however, this tutorial provides a basic introduction to the concepts of hypothesis testing, as well as, what you should look for and look out for, while conducting statistical tests of hypotheses.


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