Traditional statistics

In this chapter we’ll look at the first two kinds of statistics: hypothesis testing and confidence intervals. These use the same underlying mathematics and share a common philosophical stance. They are the techniques you will encounter most often in the scientific literature.


Hypothesis testing is still the most common use of statistics. You will have seen it used in papers and reports and may well have used it yourself. It uses various methods and measures to come up with the common p < 5% or p < 1% result.

We’ll look at what this 5% (or 1%) actually means and, just as important, what it does not mean. Perhaps even more critical is to understand what you can and cannot conclude from ...

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