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# Appendix F. Glossary of Statistical Terms

One challenge in any profession is learning the specific vocabulary required. This appendix provides a quick guide to key terms and notation used in this book; statistical vocabulary is covered in far greater detail in reference books such as The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and The Concise Encyclopedia of Statistics (Springer, 2008).

Absolute value

The numerical value of a number, disregarding its sign; the absolute values of −4 and 4 are both 4. Using notation: |−4| = |4| = 4.

Alpha (α)

In experimental design, the probability of a Type I error, that is, the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is true.

A priori hypothesis

A hypothesis specified before any testing is done.

Beta (β)

In experimental design, the probability of a Type II error, that is, the probability of failing to reject the null hypothesis when it is false. 1 − β = power.

Bias

Error that is systematic and might lead to incorrect interpretation of results.

Binary variables ...

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