Tag Archives: p value

Hunting For Significant Results: Don’t Do It

40175006Many psychology students find themselves in a situation where their research did not yield any significant results. This can be immensely frustrating since they have put a lot of time and effort into designing the study, as well as in collecting and analyzing the data. In some cases, be it out of desperation or pressure to publish interesting findings, certain students will effectively “hunt” for results by conducting statistical tests on all possible variable combinations. For instance, after noticing that a hypothesized correlation between two variables proved to be non-significant, a student might create a correlation matrix of all continuous variables of her study and hope for at least one pair to be significantly related to each other. Other students might include one, two, or even more covariates in their analysis of variance (turning it into an ANCOVA), thereby hoping that the interaction they initially hypothesized between their key factors will become significant.

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Ezra Bottequin

Ezra Bottequin

Ezra Bottequin is a Master's student in affective and social psychology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of European Psychology Students.

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