Perspective: Scientific rigor or ritual? Statistical significance in pest management science

Brendan C.S. Alexander, Adam S. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

P values, binary hypothesis tests, and statistical significance are too often overused or used incorrectly in pest management reports. These statistical results are not the point of an analysis, they are just a by-product that can sometimes be informative. The point of the analysis is always a biological interpretation of the data focusing on whether something new has been learned and then quantifying what was learned in terms of biological effects or supported hypotheses. The term ‘statistical significance’ should be retired if only because of the common misunderstanding that it implies biological relevance; these terms are not equivalent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-854
Number of pages8
JournalPest Management Science
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • P value
  • biological relevance
  • hypothesis testing
  • management
  • statistical significance
  • statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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