An official press release has confirmed that the newest release of SPSS will be equipped with ‘performance-rewarding features’. The new installment of the popular data-analysis package will light up with song, dance and fireworks whenever a statistical test is significant. ‘We want to provide a package that is in line with the day-to-day experiences of researchers. We understand the pressure the publish, and the relief that is felt by many when those Stars of Significance appear in the results table. ’
The level of significance will determine the abundance of the celebrations. If the p-value is below 0.05, researchers will automatically hear what is described as ‘a cheerful tone’, according to a company spokesman. “But if your p-value is below 0.01, the software package will play a series of congratulatory videos, complimenting your experimental design and choice of analysis. And if it is very highly significant, or below 0.001, your extra order of magnitude is rewarded by a lavish display of fireworks, clinking of champagne glasses and a showtune that plays ‘Tenure is here to stay’.
Dr. Hellst from the University of Ontario thinks it is a logical step: “Research is hard work. It can take months, sometimes even years, to collect the data. It’s such an anticlimax when are in your office, you run the analysis, the results are significant and the computer is completely and utterly silent. As if it doesn’t even care that my three-way ANOVA came out exactly the way I predicted. I’m so glad that the new edition of SPSS captures my feelings of elation in a suitable, yet professional, manner.”