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16 October 2019 Making Decisions with Data: Understanding Hypothesis Testing & Statistical Significance
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Abstract

Statistical methods are indispensable to the practice of science. But statistical hypothesis testing can seem daunting, with P-values, null hypotheses, and the concept of statistical significance. This article explains the concepts associated with statistical hypothesis testing using the story of “the lady tasting tea,” then walks the reader through an application of the independent-samples t-test using data from Peter and Rosemary Grant's investigations of Darwin's finches. Understanding how scientists use statistics is an important component of scientific literacy, and students should have opportunities to use statistical methods like this in their science classes.

© 2019 National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions web page, www.ucpress.edu/journals.php?p=reprints.
Robert A. Cooper "Making Decisions with Data: Understanding Hypothesis Testing & Statistical Significance," The American Biology Teacher 81(8), 535-542, (16 October 2019). https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2019.81.8.535
Published: 16 October 2019
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