significance

significance
n.
(in statistics) a relationship between two groups of observations indicating that the difference between them is unlikely to have occurred by chance alone. An assumption is made that there is no difference between the two populations from which the two groups come (null hypothesis). This is tested, and a calculation indicating that there is a probability of less than 5% (P<0.05) that the observed difference or a larger one could have arisen by chance is regarded as being statistically significant and the null hypothesis is rejected. Some tests are parametric, based on the assumption that the range of observations are distributed by chance in a normal or Gaussian distribution, where 95% lie within two standard deviation of the mean (Student's t test to compare means). Nonparametric tests (Mann-Whitney U tests) make no assumptions about distribution patterns. See also frequency distribution, standard error.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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• significance — c.1300, from L. significantia meaning, force, energy, from significans, prp. of significare (see SIGNIFY (Cf. signify)) …   Etymology dictionary

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• significance — ► NOUN 1) the quality of being significant; importance. 2) the unstated meaning to be found in words or events. ORIGIN Latin significantia, from significare indicate, portend …   English terms dictionary

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• significance — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ considerable, cosmic, deep, enormous, great, historic, immense, major, profound, real ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

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