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Basic Research for Clinicians

Choosing an Appropriate Test of Significance

Volume 3, Jan 2014

Padam Singh, PhD, Gurgaon, India

Inferences are drawn about the population parameters based on random samples drawn from the population. While applying statistical test of significance, the first step is to set a null hypothesis as well as the competing alternative hypothesis. To decide whether the null hypothesis is to be accepted or rejected, a ‘test statistic’, based on the sample values, is computed and compared with a critical value from statistical tables for the test corresponding to the desired level of significance. When ‘test statistic’ exceeds the critical value the null hypothesis is rejected and the difference is declared as statistically significant. The specific test of significance to be used in a given situation is chosen on the basis of type of variables and the underlying null hypothesis. This paper outlines the types of variables encountered in various situations and the statistical test of significance used in each case. (J Clin Prev Cardiol. 2014;3(1):21-5)

Keywords: Continuous variable, Critical value, Discrete variable, Qualitative variable, Quantitative variable, Test statistic.

Volume 3, Number 1, Pages: 21-25

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