significance


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to significance: significance level

significance

[signif′ikəns]
Etymology: L, significare, to signify
1 in research, the statistical probability that a given finding may have occurred by chance alone. The conventional standard for attributing significance is a finding that occurs fewer than 5 times in 100 by chance alone (p |Ld .05).
2 the importance of a study in developing a practice or theory, as in nursing practice.

significance

Clinical medicine A finding to be weighed in establishing a diagnosis, or influencing management of, a clinical state, which may be expressed as a finding of significance  Statistics A measure of deviation of data from a statistical mean, defined by a probability–p value, where a p of 0.05 indicates a 5% possibility or 1 chance in 20 that a dataset differs from a mean and 19 chances that it will not. See Clinical significance, Statistical significance.

significance

(statistics) a description of an observed result that shows sufficient deviation from the result expected to be considered different from the expected result. Significance tests such as the CHI-SQUARED TEST can be carried out to produce a value that is converted into the probability that an observed result will match the result expected from a theory. In biology there is a convention that, if there is more than a 5% chance (P < 5%) that the observed result is the same as the expected, it is possible to conclude that any deviations are ‘not significant’, i.e. have occurred by chance alone. If, however, there is less than a 5% chance (P < 5%) that observed and expected are the same, then it is concluded that the deviations are ‘significant’, i.e. have not occurred by chance alone. For example, tossing a coin 100 times gives 58 heads and 42 tails. The probability that 58:42 is similar to the expected 50:50 is greater than 5%, thus we can conclude that there is no significant deviation between observed and expected results.

significance 

In statistics, an indication that the results of an investigation on a population (e.g. patients) differ from those of another population (e.g. general) by an amount that could not happen by chance alone. This is evaluated by establishing a significance level, that is the probability, called p value, which leads us to reject or accept the null hypothesis Ho (there is no significant difference between two populations and the difference is attributed to chance) and accept or reject the alternative hypothesis H1 that there is a statistically significant difference between two populations. A p value p < 0.05 is often considered significant, but the lower this figure, the stronger the evidence. See randomized controlled trial.

significance

the quality of an assessment about the relationship between two or more values of a variable. Significance is achieved if the relationship is more common than would be achieved by a random selection.
References in classic literature ?
All in a minute various hints and trifles assumed shape and significance in Amy's mind, and told her what her sister never had confided to her.
To have sought a medical explanation for this phenomenon would have been held by Silas himself, as well as by his minister and fellow-members, a wilful self-exclusion from the spiritual significance that might lie therein.
With all its sweet and mystical significance, surely the prevailing feeling in the hearts of bride and bridegroom is, or should be, that of happiness,--happiness bubbling and dancing, all sunny ripples from heart to heart.
The larger significance of the telephone is that it completes the work of eliminating the hermit and gypsy elements of civilization.
In contact with German social conditions, this French literature lost all its immediate practical significance, and assumed a purely literary aspect.
Had I known the significance of those words "my chieftain," as applied by a red Martian woman to a man, I should have had the surprise of my life, but I did not know at that time, nor for many months thereafter.
One of the blacks guarding him struck him across the mouth with the haft of his spear; but none there knew the significance of his cry.
John had read the significance of that smile, which might have escaped a stranger.
Whether it was the purifying of the deadly atmosphere by the opening of the chapel door, or the relief which we experienced by finding ourselves in the open I know not, but most certainly the shadow of dread seemed to slip from us like a robe, and the occasion of our coming lost something of its grim significance, though we did not slacken a whit in our resolution.
The way of describing this unlooked-for scene, the history of the patriot ship, told at first so coldly, and the emotion with which this strange man pronounced the last words, the name of the Avenger, the significance of which could not escape me, all impressed itself deeply on my mind.
And although many of his word-pictures are not lacking in charm or colour, they have but little significance beyond them.
What is more, he will talk to you with excitement and passion of the true normal interests of man; with irony he will upbraid the short- sighted fools who do not understand their own interests, nor the true significance of virtue; and, within a quarter of an hour, without any sudden outside provocation, but simply through something inside him which is stronger than all his interests, he will go off on quite a different tack--that is, act in direct opposition to what he has just been saying about himself, in opposition to the laws of reason, in opposition to his own advantage, in fact in opposition to everything .