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July 1978

Concept of 'Significance' Misunderstood

Author Affiliations

Mailman Research Center McLean Hospital Belmont, Mass 02178

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(7):904. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770310110010

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To the Editor.—The litany of "no significant difference," repeated over and over again in these pages, seems to reflect a misunderstanding of the concept of "significance"—as well as a kind of methodological masochism.

"No significant difference" has both a common meaning (no important difference) and a statistical meaning, which amounts to nothing more than

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