A peculiar prevalence of p values just below .05

Distributions of p were found to be similar across the different journals. Moreover, p values were much more common immediately below .05 than would be expected based on the number of p values occurring in other ranges…

The present study observed evidence of an overreliance on null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST) in psychological research. NHST may encourage researchers to focus chiefly on achieving a sufficiently low value of p. Consistent with that view, the p value distribution from three well-respected psychology journals was disturbed such that an unusually high number of p values occurred immediately below the threshold for statistical significance.

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