Null hypothesis significance testing: a short tutorial

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Although thoroughly criticized, null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) remains the statistical method of choice used to provide evidence for an effect, in biological, biomedical and social sciences. In this short tutorial, I first summarize the concepts behind the method, distinguishing test of significance (Fisher) and test of acceptance (Newman-Pearson) and point to common interpretation errors regarding the p-value. I then present the related concepts of confidence intervals and again point to common interpretation errors. Finally, I discuss what should be reported in which context. The goal is to clarify concepts to avoid interpretation errors and propose reporting practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621
Number of pages6
Journal F1000Research
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2017


  • null hypothesis significance testing
  • review


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