The Arbitrary Magic of P <0.05: Beyond Statistics

J BUON. Mar-Apr 2020;25(2):588-593.

Abstract

Modern research and scientific conclusions are widely regarded as valid when the study design and analysis are interpreted correctly. P-value is considered to be the most commonly used method to provide a dichotomy between true and false data in evidence-based medicine. However, many authors, reviewers and editors may be unfamiliar with the true definition and correct interpretation of this number. This article intends to point out how misunderstanding or misuse of this value can have an impact in both the scientific community as well as the society we live in. The foundation of the medical education system rewards the abundance of scientific papers rather than the careful search of the truth. Appropriate research ethics should be practised in all stages of the publication process.