A call for greater power in an era of publishing negative results

Anna L Oberhofer, Robert P Lennon


Historically, medical journals published only positive results from experimentation.
With the growth of electronic media, many journals are now able to publish negative results as well. Because most medical experiments are designed to have different thresholds of significance for positive and negative results, this can lead readers to misunderstand the level of significance of a published negative result. We propose a technical shift – setting equal to β – to avoid this potential for misunderstanding.


Statistics; Beta statistic; Power negative results

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5644/ama2006-124.118


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