Whether observedfrequencies are the same asthose theoretically expected?
(eg. are the predictions of genetics correct?)
(such as a diversity index)
(such as the number of organisms?)
Comparing frequencies(numbers of things) invarious categories?
(eg. are the numbers of seeds germinating in various trays significantly different?)
Investigating therelationship betweentwo variables?
(eg. Is there a relationship between pollution level and distance from road?)
Is thedataDo youwant toFind whether the twovariables are correlated?
(i.e does increasing one cause the other to increase or decrease?)
Use one variable to predictthe value of the other?
(eg. predict the pollutant levels at 10m from the road)
(such as length, width,height, velocity)?
Whether the frequencies arethe same in each of two ormore categories?
(eg. are seed germination rates the same in different pHs?)
Whether two factors arerelated?
(eg. does pollution affect the number of sites at which clinging mayfly are found?)
Chi-squaredGoodness-of-FitChi-squaredContingencytableMann-WhitneyU testSpearman'srank correlationcoefficientRegressionDo the data occur innatural pairs?
eg. the same organism reacting to two different stimuli.
Figure 1. Deciding which test to use
Finding if there is adifference between twoaverages?
(eg. is there, on average, a higher species diversity in unpolluted water rather than polluted water?)
Do youwant totest
Which Stats test should I use?
"Which statistical test should we use?" is a common question from Biology students. This Factsheet provides simple guidelines on wheneach type of statistical test should be used.
The choice of the correct statistical test is all-important - use the wrong test and the conclusions will be invalidated. Marks are only awarded for an
- i.e. correct - use of statistics. The flowchart below can be used to identify the appropriate test. Table 1 overleaf gives examples of investigations. andappropriate tests.
B ioF actsheet
September 1997Number 3