Publications

Redefine statistical significance

We propose to change the default P-value threshold for statistical significance from 0.05 to 0.005 for claims of new discoveries.

The lack of reproducibility of scientific studies has caused growing concern over the credibility of claims of new discoveries based on 'statistically significant' findings. There has been much progress toward documenting and addressing several causes of this lack of reproducibility (for example, multiple testing, P-hacking, publication bias and under-powered studies). However, we believe that a leading cause of non-reproducibility has not yet been adequately addressed: statistical standards of evidence for claiming new discoveries in many fields of science are simply too low. Associating statistically significant findings with P < 0.05 results in a high rate of false positives even in the absence of other experimental, procedural and reporting problems.