A student decides to investigate whether pollution levels affect the incidence of asthma. They obtain a sample of 50 sixth formers from their ownschool, which is situated in a large, polluted city and 50 sixth formers from another school, which is situated in a small, relatively unpolluted town.Each sixth former is asked whether or not s/he suffers from asthma.The student obtains the following results: City: 16 with asthmaTown: 8 with asthmaHypotheses are:H
(null hypothesis):Pollution has no effect on incidence of asthmaH
(alternative hypothesis):Pollution has some effect on the incidence of asthmaWe do this by adding up all the people with asthma, and dividing by the numberof different categories we're looking at - which is two (city and town).So the expected frequencies are (16 + 8)
2 = 12 in each areaCity TownObserved (O)16 8Expected (E)1212For the city: = 1.33For the town: = 1.33chi-squared value = 1.33 + 1.33 = 2.66Degrees of freedom = 2
We look for the 5% level for one degree of freedom.This is
(Table 2)Our value is smaller than the value from the tables, so we accept the nullhypothesis - there is no significant difference in the amount of asthma betweenthe city and the town.
Write down the
Work out the
expected frequenciesStep 3:
Put your observed frequencies (from the actualexperiment) and the expected frequencies (fromstep 2) in a
( )8 1212
Table 2. Chi-squared tablesPoints to note
This investigation needs care in sampling technique!
The sixth formers need to live in the area, not just go to schoolin it
They may not have lived there for long
School sixth formers may not be representative of the populationas a whole
How does the student know what the pollution levels are - arethey just assuming it?
Pollution levels are not the same throughout a city or town.
- Don't worry if your expected frequencies are not whole numbers.They don't have to be!
round them to the nearest whole number - this will make your test less accurate.
- Don't worry about what degrees of freedom means! Unless you want to study Statistics as a subject, you don't need to know!
O - EE
For each of your categories, work out
Step 5:Add up
all these values.This gives the
chi-squared valueStep 6
:Work out the
degrees of freedom.
This is one less than the number of categories
Get a chi-squared table and
look up the value
for the appropriate significance level (usually5%) and the degrees of freedom. In the table 5%is shown as 0.05.
Step 8:Make a decision
- if your chi-squared value is
than the one from the tables, you can
the null hypothesis. Otherwise you haveto accept it.
This test is not telling us that the null hypothesis is definitely correct- it is telling us that we haven't got enough evidence to reject it.
To improve the chance of getting a significant result - in other words,rejecting the null hypothesis - a larger sample usually helps! Forexample, if the student had taken a sample of 100 from each schooland found the city and town had 32 and 16 respectively with asthma,s/he would have been able to reject the null hypothesis (check thiscalculation!)
The Chi-SquaredTest for Goodness of Fit