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The P value is defined as the probability under the assumption of no effect or no difference (null hypothesis), of obtaining a result equal to or more extreme than what was actually observed. The P stands for probability and measures how likely it is that any observed difference between groups is due to chance. 

  • Being a probability, P can take any value between 0 and 1 (0 ≤ p ≤ 1). 
  • Values close to 0 indicate that the observed difference is unlikely to be due to chance.
  • When P value is close to 1, it suggests no difference between the groups other than due to chance. 

Thus, it is common in medical journals to see adjectives such as “highly significant” or “very significant” after quoting the P value depending on how close to zero the value is.(Source)

The p-value is widely used in statistical hypothesis testing, specifically in null hypothesis significance testing. In this method, before conducting the study, one first chooses a model (the null hypothesis) and the alpha level α (most commonly 0.05). After analyzing the data, if the p-value is less than α, that is taken to mean that the observed data is sufficiently inconsistent with the null hypothesis for the null hypothesis to be rejected. However, that does not prove that the null hypothesis is false. The p-value does not, in itself, establish probabilities of hypotheses. Rather, it is a tool for deciding whether to reject the null hypothesis. (Source)


A description of the characteristics of a Population.

Participant Observation

A technique in Qualitative Research where the researcher not only observes a particular natural setting, but gets involved in that setting to some degree.


The currently accepted term for describing people who are involved in a study. It replaces the older term Subjects.

Participatory Research Design

A type of Qualitative Research where the researcher is actually involved in the research process, usually seeking to improve matters or conditions.

Path Analysis

A specialized form of model building in Quantitative Research, where relations among Variables are lined up along some kind of meaningful time framework.


Systematic and meaningful groupings of Data, most often found in Qualitative Research.

Peer Review

A process used in journals that publish Primary Articles where a submitted article is sent to two or more experts in the field for a blind evaluation (where the reviewers do not know the names of the researchers who wrote the article).

Note: the following content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University

Within academia it is common practice to inspect texts before publication, from student essays to scholarly journal articles. This review process differs based on the type of text and publication. The most comprehensive and esteemed version of review is called peer review.

Peer review is used by journals that are known as academic, scholarly or scientific. These journals have a board of referees (or reviewers) who are experts and experienced researchers within their respective field. They evaluate the quality of the submitted articles based on scientific rigor, content and language. Together with the journal editor, they also judge whether the article fits within the subject area of the journal. The result of the review determines if the article is accepted for publication, if the authors are encouraged to revise the text or if the article is rejected.

Publishing articles according to the peer review procedure is required for a journal to be considered scientific. In order to avoid bias, the author and referee of the article are blinded to one another, i.e. their identity is kept anonymous.

Journals with a peer review system may include either refereed articles exclusively or a mix of refereed and non-refereed articles. Non-refereed articles might include book reviews, debate articles or commentaries.


Perspective refers to: a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view. 

Researcher Perspective refers to the viewpoint of a particular stakeholder in the relevant domain, which is adopted by the researcher as the viewpoint from which to observe phenomena during the conduct of a research project. That description implicitly assumes that researchers always adopt just a single perspective. (Source)


A branch of philosophy that says our perceptions and our thoughts about things we experience are intermingled. In Qualitative Research, Phenomenological methods look at our opinions and awareness of phenomena.


Another name for the entire group of people or things to be studied or measured. Most often, we draw a Sample from that Population to study instead.


A specialized type of Case Study, most often used in Qualitative Research, where a systematic and compelling artistically rendered picture of a Participant or group is rendered.


In certain Research Designs, a measurement you take after the treatment that will then be compared to the Pretest score.

Power Error

Another name for a Type II Error, where the statistical test is too stringent and so significant results cannot be identified. Is also called a False Negative.


In certain Research Designs, a measurement you take prior to the treatment that you will compare to the Posttest score.

Primary Article

An article written by the researchers who did the actual work, usually published in a Peer Reviewed journal. As opposed to a Secondary Article

"Primary article is written from primary research, where the authors of the study are the people who actually conduct the research, collect observable information (data), and analyze results. "Think pieces" (reflective and theoretical essays) and secondhand, filtered accounts of what "research says" are not included in primary, empirical research." (Beaudry & Miller, 2016, p.5)


Beaudry, J. S., & Miller, L. (2016). Research literacy: A primer for understanding and using research. Guilford Publications.


PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA primarily focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating the effects of interventions, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews with objectives other than evaluating interventions (e.g. evaluating aetiology, prevalence, diagnosis or prognosis). (Source)


A mathematical principle that says that things do not have to be Deterministic, but only likely, in order to be systematic. Most tests used in Inferential Statistics are based on Probability.


That part of an article where the Methods and other logistical aspects are described in enough detail that the research can either be Replicated or fully understood.


In an article, the statement by the researchers of why they are doing the research in the first place.

Purposive Sample

A Sample where the members of the Sample are picked because of their unique characteristics. Most often found in Qualitative Research.

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