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– dealing with Ecology/Environment
– either “positive” or “negative” (we will explain this)
Rule #3: Members of the NABT rated the quality of articles in The American
Biology Teacher dealing with Ecology/Environment in an Internet
survey as significantly positive.
Note two important things about this conclusion above: (1) people when
speaking English do not normally say “significantly excellent” since something is
either excellent or is not excellent without any modifier, and (2) since the mean
rating of the quality of the articles dealing with Ecology/Environment (5.8) was
significantly greater than 5.5 on the positive side of the scale, we would say
“significantly positive” to indicate this fact.
If you want a more detailed explanation of the confidence interval about the
mean, see Townend (2002).
The three practice problems at the end of this chapter will give you additional
practice in stating the conclusion of your result, and this topic will include many
more examples that will help you to write a clear and accurate conclusion to your
research findings.
3.3 Alternative Ways to Summarize the Result
of a Hypothesis Test
It is important for you to understand that in this topic we are summarizing an
hypothesis test in one of two ways: (1) We accept the null hypothesis, or (2) We
reject the null hypothesis and accept the research hypothesis. We are consistent in
the use of these words so that you can understand the concept underlying hypothesis
testing.
However, there are many other ways to summarize the result of an hypothesis
test, and all of them are correct theoretically, even though the terminology differs. If
you are taking a course with a professor who wants you to summarize the results of
a statistical test of hypotheses in language which is different from the language we
are using in this topic, do not panic! If you understand the concept of hypothesis
testing as described in this topic, you can then translate your understanding to use
the terms that your professor wants you to use to reach the same conclusion to the
hypothesis test.
Statisticians and professors of science statistics all have their own language that
they like to use to summarize the results of an hypothesis test. There is no one set of
words that these statisticians and professors will ever agree on, and so we have
chosen the one that we believe to be easier to understand in terms of the concept of
hypothesis testing.
To convince you that there are many ways to summarize the results of an
hypothesis test, we present the following quotes from prominent statistics and
research books to give you an idea of the different ways that are possible.
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