Washington Law Review


D.H. Kaye


This article examines the status of significance testing in litigation. Part I describes the case law on the need for the procedure. Part II explains the nature and terminology of hypothesis testing as used in court. Part III enumerates some of the problems that arise in these forensic applications, and Part IV pursues one such problem-that of selecting a "significance level." These sections show that explicit hypothesis testing is poorly suited for courtroom use. Statements as to what results are or are not "statistically significant" should be inadmissible. Part V suggests the use of other statistical tools and terms that do not "test" hypotheses but can better aid the finder of fact in judging the probative value of the statistical evidence.

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