I'm writing: "(...) in this way, we compromise precision, and the ability to reject spurious hypothesis (...)".

I'm looking for something like: "in this way, we compromise precision, and __".

  • There is no single word that specifically means “the ability to reject spurious hypotheses”—why on earth would there be? Not all spurious hypotheses should be rejected, while quite a few non-spurious ones should. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 6 '13 at 1:35

The actual answer is discrimination ("the perceiving, noting, or making a distinction or difference between things...the power of observing differences accurately, or of making exact distinctions", OED) but in non-technical contexts this has acquired such negative associations that you have to be very careful.


This suggestion may not be narrow enough in scope, but discretion is what springs immediately to mind.

discretion - the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation

in this way, we compromise precision and discretion

  • No need for the comma after precision. – JLG Nov 5 '13 at 22:14
  • @JLG You might want to tell that to the OP. – Tyler James Young Nov 5 '13 at 23:56
  • @JLG I have removed the comma. Thanks for helping me to improve my answer. – Lumberjack Nov 6 '13 at 2:42

Some possibilities are:

  • caution (we don't want to make a wrong decision)
  • exactness or exactitude
  • rigor (we want to examine things closely enough to make an informed decision)
  • skepticism (we maintain doubt until we see positive signs)

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