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The Editors

The Value of That P-Value

How statistics can go terribly wrong.
Is it working?

Is it working?

Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Decisions affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people should be made using the best possible information. That’s why researchers, public officials and anyone with views on social policy should pay attention to a long-running controversy in the world of statistics.

The lesson to be drawn from this debate: Whenever you see a claim of the form "x is significantly related to y," watch out.