False Negative

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False negative rate

For example, take a test with If this test is used in a setting where 0. In HIV testing, the period of time after infection and before seroconversion during which markers of infection are still absent or too scarce to be detectable. When using a diagnostic test, the probability that a person without a medical condition will receive the correct test result i.

False Negative | Definition of False Negative by Merriam-Webster

When using a diagnostic test, the probability that a person who does have a medical condition will receive the correct test result i. The proportion of people who acquire an infection or develop a condition during a specified period of time. Incidence reflects newly acquired infections and conditions.

Once the window period has elapsed two months after possible exposure to HIV , if you test twice, using a different test device on each occasion, and both tests give a negative result, you can be confident that the result is accurate. Types of HIV tests.

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Roger Pebody. They do, however, give us situations where having a false negative is not the ideal. In hypothesis testing, however, you have your null hypothesis:. You are pregnant! This is a good example because the better situation is entirely dependent on your situation! Imagine Someone has been trying for a child for a long time then by some miracle their pregnancy test comes back positive. They mentally prepare themselves for having a baby and after a short period of ecstasy, in some manner, they find out that they are, in fact, not pregnant!

A false negative for someone who really does not want a child, is not ready for one and when assuring themselves with a negative result, proceeds to drink and smoke can be incredibly damaging for her, her family, and her baby. Pregnancy tests have advanced to minimize the chances of a false negative. This does improve the test as while it would be unlikely that you would go to a doctor to confirm a negative result, it would be sensible to with a positive result. There are a number of medical reasons to get a false positive, but false negatives appear only due to faulty execution of the test.

Here is a more clear-cut example. Imagine a patient taking an HIV test.

false negative

The ramifications of a false positive would at first be heartbreaking for the patient; to have to deal with the trauma of facing this news and telling your family and friends is not a situation you would wish upon anyone, but after going for treatment, the doctors will find out that she does not have the virus. Again, this would not be a particularly pleasant experience. But not having HIV is ultimately a good thing. On the other hand, a false negative would mean that the patient has HIV but the test shows a negative result.


The implications of this are terrifying, the patient would be missing out on crucial treatments and runs a high risk of spreading the virus to others. Without much doubt, the false negative here is the bigger problem. Both for the person and for society. Before a patient is definitively said to be HIV positive, there are a series of tests carried out. It is not all based on a single blood sample. Therefore, the null hypothesis is:. So simply enough, a false positive would result in an innocent party being found guilty, while a false negative would produce an innocent verdict for a guilty person.

If there is a lack of evidence, Accepting the null hypothesis much more likely to occur than rejecting it. So, protecting one innocent person at the risk of possibly letting five guilty people go free seems worth it for many people. With the law the way it is, the general consensus is that the false positive would be the bigger problem.


The idea of putting an innocent person behind bars is unsettling, as proving they are in fact, innocent once convicted is not simple. While a false negative would result in a guilty party going free, it could end up with a case being reopened or, if the person is a serial offender, he will be convicted at a later date anyway. As a result, judges would not even open most criminal cases, because they would fear to put too many innocent people in jail.

Breathalyzer tests are a necessary nuisance. Nobody wants to be stopped for a breath alcohol test, but then nobody wants to be killed by a drunk driver either. Swings and roundabouts.

https://garococonnolu.ga A false negative would register you as sober when you are drunk, or at least over the limit. Both problems do occur due to varying factors that can influence breath alcohol samples. To counteract the problems of false positives losing your license, receiving fines or jail time , the law states that one can provide a blood or urine sample to prove their innocence if they are, that is. With this in mind, a false negative is clearly the bigger problem. What made you want to look up false negative? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible.

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! It's now in the dictionary.

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