Talk:882: Significant

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 13:57, 15 August 2014 by Cflare (talk | contribs)
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Those lazy scientists are playing minecraft instead of curing cancer! Lynch 'em! Davidy22[talk] 00:35, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

But I heard that Minecraft cures cancer... Scientists! Investigate! <off: cheers from active group, boos from the control group> 19:31, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
You know this experiment isn't conducted properly when you know you're in the control group. Troy (talk) 05:24, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
So you have to somehow convince them they are playing Minecraft, when in fact they are not. That's easy, select people who have never played the game. But what if KNOWING the game is Minecraft is what cures cancer? Oh boy... Cflare (talk) 13:57, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Um, I take it that whoever explained this comic can't tell the difference between < and >, as the fact that the confidence was changed wasn't mentioned in the article... 23:19, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I also figured out this today, green is lower than 0.05, on other colors there is just a confidence that it's NOT lower than 0.05. The newspaper did add this remaining 19 panels to 95%. The article is marked as incomplete, it needs a major rewrite.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:12, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

This explanation seems to misinterpret α. α is the chance of rejecting a true null hypothesis, a false positive. The 5% here is α. The correct interpretation of it is that if the null hypothesis is true, there is a 5% chance that we will mistakenly reject it. P in "P<0.05" is the chance that, if the null hypothesis is true, a result as extreme as, or more extreme than, the result we get from this experiment. α is not the chance that, given our current data, the null hypothsis is true. We wish to know what that is, but we do not know. 08:52, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

In layman's terms, the comic appears to misrepresent what "95% confidence" (p <0.05) means. The statistic "p < 0.05" means that when we find a correlation based on data, that correlation will be a false positive fewer than 5 percent of the time. In other words, when we observe the correlation in the data, that correlation actually exists in the real world at least 19 out of 20 times. It does not mean that 1 out of every 20 tests will produce a false positive. This comic displays a pretty significant failure in understanding of Bayesian mathematics. The 5% chance isn't a 5% chance that any test will produce a (false) positive; it's a 5% chance that a statistical positive is a false positive. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)