Practical versus Statistical Significance

In Excerpt 16.34 [not shown here], we see a case in which a pair of researchers attended to the important distinction between useful and trivial findings. These researchers deserve high praise for realizing (and warning their readers) that inferential tests can yield results that are statistically significant without being important in a practical manner.

In many research reports, researchers make a big deal about a finding that seems small and of little importance. Perhaps such researchers are unaware of the important distinction between practical and statistical significance, or it may be that they know about this distinction but prefer not to mention it due to a realization that their statistically significant results do not matter very much. Either way, it is important that you keep this distinction in mind whenever you are on the receiving end of a research report.

(From Chapter 16, pp. 438-439)


Copyright © 2012

Schuyler W. Huck
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