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Why say “statistically significant” rather than just “significant”? a plea to rid the medical literature of linguistic ambiguity

      As scientists and academics, we teach, conduct research and write scientific research papers [
      • Rosengart T.K.
      • Mason M.C.
      • LeMaire S.A.
      • Brandt M.L.
      • Coselli J.S.
      • Curley S.A.
      • Mattox K.L.
      • Mills J.L.
      • Sugarbaker D.J.
      • Berger D.A.
      The seven attributes of the academic surgeon: Critical aspects of the archetype and contributions to the surgical community.
      ]. Whenever we try to determine whether an outcome, an exposure, or a difference between two or more variables, is meaningful, we perform a statistical test to determine the probability of our finding being due just to chance, or, of our finding having the property of being “statistically significant”, using the “p value”, or some alternative such as confidence, credibility, or prediction intervals.
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      References

        • Rosengart T.K.
        • Mason M.C.
        • LeMaire S.A.
        • Brandt M.L.
        • Coselli J.S.
        • Curley S.A.
        • Mattox K.L.
        • Mills J.L.
        • Sugarbaker D.J.
        • Berger D.A.
        The seven attributes of the academic surgeon: Critical aspects of the archetype and contributions to the surgical community.
        Am J Surg. 2017; 214: 165-179
        • Shafer G.
        On the nineteenth-century origins of significance testing and p-hacking, First posted July 18, 2019. Last revised June 11, 2020.
        (Project web site:)
        • Salsburg D.
        The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century. New York, NY.
        2001
        • Best Al M.
        • Greenberg B.L.
        Glick M From tea tasting to t test: a P value ain’t what you think it is.
        JADA. 2016; 147: 527-529https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adaj.2016.05.004