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False Positive

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Updated July 14, 2009

Definition: False positive refers to a test result that tells you a disease or condition is present, when in reality, there is no disease. A false positive result is an error, which means the result is not giving you the correct information. As an example of a false positive, suppose a blood test is designed to detect colon cancer. The test results come back saying a person has colon cancer, when he actually does not have this disease. This is a false positive.
Also Known As: type I error, alpha error
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