Is this significant?

The re-drawn chart comparing the various gradi...

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Here’s a situation I come across all the time.
Someone points to their survey and asks, “Is this significant?”
I stare blankly at them. “Is what significant?”
Pointing again, they clarify their question, “This number here, is this number significant?”
I keep staring blankly, “Single numbers can’t be significant. It’s just a number.”
Now it is the asker’s turn to stare blankly at me.
I continue my answer, “A single number isn’t significant but a pair of numbers can be statistically different from each other. What number are you comparing it to?”
Eyes blinking, waiting, watching.
“Yes, yes, that single number is significant.”
Always remember, you endured what seemed liked decades of statistics classes to get where you are. You know what they mean, speak English, not statistician.

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    One response

    1. thank you. huge pet peeve of mine.

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