Richard Feynman
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More vulnerable to Type I or Type II errors?

More vulnerable to Type I or Type II errors?

Type I error, also known as an “error of the first kind” or a “false positive”: the error of rejecting a null hypothesis when it is actually true. It occurs when observing a difference when in truth there is none, thus indicating a test of poor specificity. An example of this would be if a test shows that a woman is pregnant when in reality she is not. Type I error can be viewed as the error of excessive credulity; it is the notion of “seeing” something that is not really there.

Type II error, also known as an “error of the second kind”, or a “false negative”: the error of failing to reject a null hypothesis when it is in fact not true. In other words, this is the error of failing to observe a difference when in truth there is one, thus indicating a test of poor sensitivity. An example of this would be if a test shows that a woman is not pregnant, when in reality, she is. Type II error can be viewed as the error of excessive skepticism; it is failing to “see” something that actually exists.

 

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