# Evaluate The Discussion Scenario

6210 Week 5 Discussion: How To Critically Evaluate The Discussion Scenario:

Consider this scenario:

A research paper claims a meaningful contribution to the literature based on finding statistically significant relationships between predictor and response variables. In the footnotes, you see the following statement, “given this research was exploratory in nature, traditional levels of significance to reject the null hypotheses were relaxed to the .10 level.

First, read and watch all of the course materials beginning tonight because you’re paying for this course.

Next, here is an outline that you may consider to respond to this discussion requirement:

Define meaningful in the context of research and statistics and provide a citation from the Course Materials to support your definition. Do not use a dictionary. Hint: The American Statistical Association has a position on meaningfulness.

Define statistical significance and provide a citation to support your definition. Hint: What does statistical significance mean?

Critique the 0.10 level of significance in the context of making a Type I or Type II error:

Define a Type I error in terms of the null hypothesis. Start with, “A Type I error is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when the null hypothesis is… …”

Define a Type II error in terms of the null hypothesis. Start with, “A Type II error is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when the null hypothesis is … …”

Hint: The probability of making a Type I error when the level of significance is .05 So what is the probability of make a Type I error when the level of significance is 0.10?

Hint: The probability of making a Type II error is not 1.00 less the level of significance. It is in fact, undefined, but the probability of making a Type ll error when the level of significance is 0.10 is less than when the level of significance is .05. Trust me.

Decide if a 0.10 level of significance is more likely to result in a Type I or Type II error when compared to a level of significance of 0.05.

Generally, social scientists conduct research with human participants. State if a Type I or a Type II error is more likely to cause harm to a human participant. Include a citation to support your position.

Ask yourself why a researcher would ‘relax’ a level of significance from the traditional 0.05 to 0.10. Ask yourself if and/or why a reputable peer-reviewed journal (think, The Lancet) would publish such research? Ask yourself if all published research is quality research (think again about The Lancet).

Put all of this in a coherent narrative devoid of spelling and grammatical errors, put a pretty bow on it, post it before Wednesday at 0-dark-thirty Mid-Northern Southwest Asia Middling time, take 2 Advil and a shot of Maker’s Mark, and go to bed.

Statistical Significance and Meaningfulness

Once you start to understand how exciting the world of statistics can be, it is tempting to fall into the trap of chasing statistical significance. That is, you may be tempted always to look for relationships that are statistically significant and believe they are valuable solely because of their significance. Although statistical hypothesis testing does help you evaluate claims, it is important to understand the limitations of statistical significance and to interpret the results within the context of the research and its pragmatic, “real world” application.

As a scholar-practitioner, it is important for you to understand that just because a hypothesis test indicates a relationship exists between an intervention and an outcome, there is a difference between groups, or there is a correlation between two constructs, it does not always provide a default measure for its importance. Although relationships are significant, they can be very minute relationships, very small differences, or very weak correlations. In the end, we need to ask whether the relationships or differences observed are large enough that we should make some practical change in policy or practice.

For this Discussion, you will explore statistical significance and meaningfulness.

To prepare for this Discussion:

• Review the Learning Resources related to hypothesis testing, meaningfulness, and statistical significance.
• Review Magnusson’s web blog found in the Learning Resources to further your visualization and understanding of statistical power and significance testing.
• Review the American Statistical Association’s press release and consider the misconceptions and misuse of p-values.
• Consider the scenario:
• A research paper claims a meaningful contribution to the literature based on finding statistically significant relationships between predictor and response variables. In the footnotes, you see the following statement, “given this research was exploratory in nature, traditional levels of significance to reject the null hypotheses were relaxed to the .10 level.”