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Introduction to Significance Tests

Chapter 9 - Day 2 - Lesson 9.1

Learning Targets
  • State appropriate hypotheses for a significance test about a population parameter.

  • Interpret a P-value in context.

  • Make an appropriate conclusion for a significance test.

Activity: Is This Gender Discrimination? 
Answer Key:

Students do not have enough information to move all the way through this Activity. You will need to stop the group after question #1 to reveal to them that there are 120 males and 60 females working at the firm. Then in question #2, let students design their own simulation (using dice, random number generators, or a spinner). Collect the class results on a dotplot at the front of the room.

Experience First, Formalize Later

This Activity is meant to be experiential and conceptual. We want students to wonder if the 5 women out of 10 being laid off is questionable. Or could this result happen purely by chance? Students will be building a conceptual understanding of the P-value and how that relates to evidence against a claim. Later in the chapter, we will learn the formulas for calculating a P-value and how to compare this to a significance level in order to make a conclusion.

Estimating a P-value from a Simulation

Simulation is hands-down the best way to help students build a conceptual understanding of the P-value. We have been using simulations throughout the course to get students thinking inferentially. We used data from an experiment to assess the evidence that Joy can small Parkinson’s. We took samples to assess whether Beyonce writes her own lyrics. We used simulation to assess the evidence that soda contests are unfair. At this point in the year, students should be solidifying their understanding of the P-value and also be able to make a conclusion based on the P-value.

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