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Anna Karenina principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Friday, July 25, 2014 @ 9:05pmAnna Karenina principledescribes an endeavor in which a deficiency in any one of a number of factors dooms it to failure. Consequently, a successful endeavor (subject to this principle) is one where every possible deficiency has been avoided. The name of the principle derives from Leo Tolstoy's book Anna Karenina, which begins: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. In statistics, the term Anna Karenina principle is used to describe significance tests: there are any number of ways in which a dataset may violate the null hypothesis and only one in which all the assumptions are satisfied.