Statistically Significant


DEFINITION of 'Statistically Significant'

The likelihood that a result or relationship is caused by something other than mere random chance. Statistical hypothesis testing is traditionally employed to determine if a result is statistically significant or not. This provides a "p-value" representing the probability that random chance could explain the result. In general, a 5% or lower p-value is considered to be statistically significant.

BREAKING DOWN 'Statistically Significant'

This concept may sound confusing and impractical, but consider a simple example - suppose you work for a company that produces running shoes:

You need to plan production for the number of pairs of shoes your company should make in each size for men and for women. You don't want to base your production plans on the anecdotal evidence that men usually have bigger feet than women, you need hard data to base your plans on. Therefore, you should look at a statistical study that shows the correlation between gender and foot size.

If the report's p-value was only 2%, this would be a statistically significant result. You could reasonably use the study's data to prepare your company's production plans, because the 2% p-value indicates there is only a 2% chance that the connection between foot size and gender was the result of chance/error. On the other hand, if the p-value was 20%, it would not be reasonable to use the study as a basis for your production plans, since there would be a 20% chance that the relationship presented in the study could be due to random chance alone.

  1. Bonferroni Test

    A type of multiple comparison test used in statistical analysis. ...
  2. Sample Selection Bias

    A type of bias caused by choosing non-random data for statistical ...
  3. Correlation Coefficient

    A measure that determines the degree to which two variable's ...
  4. Correlation

    In the world of finance, a statistical measure of how two securities ...
  5. Dispersion

    A statistical term describing the size of the range of values ...
  6. Covariance

    A measure of the degree to which returns on two risky assets ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    Using Historical Volatility To Gauge Future Risk

    Use these calculations to uncover the risk involved in your investments.
  2. Forex Education

    Commodity Prices And Currency Movements

    Find out which currencies are most affected by fluctuations in gold and oil prices, and improve your trading.
  3. Forex Education

    Using Currency Correlations To Your Advantage

    Knowing the relationships between pairs can help control risk exposure and maximize profits.
  4. Options & Futures

    Financial Concepts

    Diversification? Optimal portfolio theory? Read this tutorial and these and other financial concepts will be made clear.
  5. Investing

    What a Family Tradition Taught Me About Investing

    We share some lessons from friends and family on saving money and planning for retirement.
  6. Investing

    Where the Price is Right for Dividends

    There are two broad schools of thought for equity income investing: The first pays the highest dividend yields and the second focuses on healthy yields.
  7. Personal Finance

    How Tech Can Help with 3 Behavioral Finance Biases

    Even if you’re a finance or statistics expert, you’re not immune to common decision-making mistakes that can negatively impact your finances.
  8. Investing Basics

    5 Tips For Diversifying Your Portfolio

    A diversified portfolio will protect you in a tough market. Get some solid tips here!
  9. Entrepreneurship

    Identifying And Managing Business Risks

    There are a lot of risks associated with running a business, but there are an equal number of ways to prepare for and manage them.
  10. Forex Education

    Explaining Uncovered Interest Rate Parity

    Uncovered interest rate parity is when the difference in interest rates between two nations is equal to the expected change in exchange rates.
  1. What is the correlation between American stock prices and the value of the U.S. dollar?

    The correlation between any two variables (or sets of variables) summarizes a relationship, whether or not there is any real-world ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is Colombia an emerging market economy?

    Colombia meets the criteria of an emerging market economy. The South American country has a much lower gross domestic product, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some of the more common types of regressions investors can use?

    The most common types of regression an investor can use are linear regressions and multiple linear regressions. Regressions ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What types of assets lower portfolio variance?

    Assets that have a negative correlation with each other reduce portfolio variance. Variance is one measure of the volatility ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center