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Statistics LibreTexts

11.11: Statistical Literacy

Evidence for the Higgs Boson


Interpreting Non-Significant Results

Research in March, 2012 reported here found evidence for the existence of the Higgs Boson particle. However, the evidence for the existence of the particle was not statistically significant.


Did the researchers conclude that their investigation had been a failure or did they conclude they have evidence of the particle, just not strong enough evidence to draw a confident conclusion?

What do you think?

One of the investigators stated, "We see some tantalizing evidence but not significant enough to make a stronger statement." Therefore, they were encouraged by the result. In a subsequent study, the evidence was significant.