Below is listed a few links about p-values and the too famous p=0.05 ‘significance’ threshold. But let’s summarize with an xkcd comic first:



  • “No scientific worker has a fixed level of significance at which from year to year, and in all circumstances, he rejects hypotheses; he rather gives his mind to each particular case in the light of his evidence and his ideas.”

(Ronald A. Fisher, 1956)

  • “We are not interested in the logic itself, nor will we argue for replacing the .05 alpha with another level of alpha, but at this point in our discussion we only wish to emphasize that dichotomous significance testing has no ontological basis. That is, we want to underscore that, surely, God loves the .06 nearly as much as the .05. Can there be any doubt that God views the strength of evidence for or against the null as a fairly continuous function of the magnitude of p?” (Note: It is always weird when God comes into play, but you got the idea)

(Rosnow, R.L. & Rosenthal, R. in Statistical procedures and the justification of knowledge in psychological science, American Psychologist, 1989)

If you still want to use the word ‘significant’, refer to this list of terms: Still Not Significant