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Statistical hypothesis test

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A statistical hypothesis test is a method of statistical inference used to decide whether the data sufficiently support a particular hypothesis. A statistical hypothesis test typically involves a calculation of a test statistic. Then a decision is made, either by comparing the test statistic to a critical value or equivalently by evaluating a p-value computed from the test statistic. Roughly 100 specialized statistical tests have been defined.

Suppose the data can be realized from an N(0,1) distribution. For example, with a chosen significance level α = 0.05, from the Z-table, a one-tailed critical value of approximately 1.645 can be obtained. The one-tailed critical value Cα ≈ 1.645 corresponds to the chosen significance level. The critical region [Cα, ∞) is realized as the tail of the standard normal distribution.

P-value

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In null-hypothesis significance testing, the -value is the probability of obtaining test results at least as extreme as the result actually observed, under the assumption that the null hypothesis is correct. A very small p-value means that such an extreme observed outcome would be very unlikely under the null hypothesis. Even though reporting p-values of statistical tests is common practice in academic publications of many quantitative fields, misinterpretation and misuse of p-values is widespread and has been a major topic in mathematics and metascience. In 2016, the American Statistical Association (ASA) made a formal statement that "p-values do not measure the probability that the studied hypothesis is true, or the probability that the data were produced by random chance alone" and that "a p-value, or statistical significance, does not measure the size of an effect or the importance of a result" or "evidence regarding a model or hypothesis". That said, a 2019 task force by ASA has issued a statement on statistical significance and replicability, concluding with: "p-values and significance tests, when properly applied and interpreted, increase the rigor of the conclusions drawn from data".

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