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What is a p value and what does it mean?

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Researchers aim to make the strongest possible conclusions from limited amounts of data. To do this, they need to overcome two problems. First, important differences in the findings can be obscured by natural variability and experimental imprecision. Thus, it is difficult to distinguish real differences from random variability. Second, researchers' natural inclination is to conclude that differences are real, and to minimise the contribution of random variability. Statistical probability minimises this from happening.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Research Material
  • DOI
  • License
    © 2012 BMJ Publishing Group. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Forbes, D. (2012). What is a p value and what does it mean? Evidence-Based Nursing, 15(2), 34. doi: 10.1136/ebnurs-2012-100524