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Joseph F. Mudge, Faith M. Penny and Jeff E. Houlahan Optimizing α for better statistical decisions: A case study involving the pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis BioEssays 34

Article first published online: 19 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/bies.201200120

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Reliance on the arbitrary α = 0.05 for null hypothesis significance tests causes interpretation problems in biological research. Significance levels can instead be set to minimize either the combined probabilities or the costs of Type I and Type II errors at biologically relevant effect sizes. Setting optimal α levels improves scientific decision-making.

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