At Sociological Images, we make research methods fun!

Not really.

But here we go!

Scholars testing a research hypothesis have to be worried about two kinds of errors. Type I is failing to reject a false hypothesis.  The hypothesis is wrong, but it looks right to you.  That’s a false positive.

Type II is rejecting a true hypothesis incorrectly.  In fact, your hypothesis is correct, but your data suggests that it’s false. That’s a false negative.

Test time!

Which one is which?


You’re welcome everybody!

Here’s as far back as I could trace the source. If anyone knows where this came from, please let me know. :)

Lisa Wade, PhD is a Visiting Scholar at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming Introduction to Sociology text. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.