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Things to say, professionally, of small significance

The Still Not Significant blog lists lots of ways to mutter, in professional language, if your research findings are statistically marginal. Among them:

What to do if your p-value is just over the arbitrary threshold for ‘significance’ of p=0.05? … The solution is to apply the time-honoured tactic of circumlocution to disguise the non-significant result as something more interesting. The following list is culled from peer-reviewed journal articles in which (a) the authors set themselves the threshold of 0.05 for significance, (b) failed to achieve that threshold value for p and (c) described it in such a way as to make it seem more interesting:

a borderline significant trend (p=0.09)
a clear trend (p<0.09)
a clear, strong trend (p=0.09)
a decreasing trend (p=0.09)
a definite trend (p=0.08)
a favorable trend (p=0.09)
a favourable statistical trend (p=0.09)
a little significant (p<0.1)
a marginal trend (p=0.09)
a marked trend (p=0.07)
a mild trend (p<0.09)
a near-significant trend (p=0.07)
a negative trend (p=0.09)
a nonsignificant trend (p<0.1)
a notable trend (p<0.1)

[see the original article for the full list]

 

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