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Concepts of Relative Importance in Recent Scientific Literature

William Kruskal and Ruth Majors
The American Statistician
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 2-6
DOI: 10.2307/2685157
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2685157
Page Count: 5
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Concepts of Relative Importance in Recent Scientific Literature
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Abstract

How is the ambiguous concept of relative importance for independent variables handled in the scientific literature? We sampled from a population of recent papers with relative importance (or the equivalent) in their titles. We found widespread apparent desire to make relative-importance statements, but little self-conscious interest in interpretation or in looking at more than one specification of the concept. We were unhappy to find that a substantial fraction (one-fifth) of the papers used statistical significance to measure relative importance.

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