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A starker p-value

Graphic display of p-value. Credit: Repapetilto

In science, for a phenomenon to be reliable, it needs to be validated by a certain statistical value, the p-value, which by giving an estimate of the probability that the result would be the product of chance, serves as a measure of the probability that a certain event happening is true. So far, the convention states that any result with a p-value<0.05 is already good scientific evidence. However, given the reproducibility crisis from the last years (scientists all over the world are failing to reproduce the results from other teams) and the number of false-positives (an effect claimed to be real but actually false) reported in scientific literature, a group of researchers has recently proposed to increase this statistical threshold to p<0.005, an order of magnitude smaller, thus aiming for higher stringency in the consideration of scientific data.

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