Some simpler statistical tests for rejecting outliers in quantitative data

*
Large data sets (N>100):

For small data sets:

1

Rule of Huge Error: If you have a single outlier, then you can discard it with 98% confidence if
any of the following conditions are met.

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5 8 6

8 14 5

15 4

Dixon’s Q-test: If you have a single outlier, and your data has a normal distribution, then you can
discard the outlier if . Order the data values in increasing or decreasing order, such that
the outlier is the final data point (xN).

3 7

8 10

11 13

*Compiled from:
-Personal webpage of Prof. James K. Hardy, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Akron, “Statistical Treatment of Data” at
http://ull.chemistry.uakron.edu/analytical/Statistics/. This has good notes for basic statistics and refers to specific tests for the rejection of data and
discusses large and small sample sets.
-“Dixon's Q-test: Detection of a single outlier”, which includes an Applet for doing Q-test calculations and a brief discussion on rejecting data from
small data sets, on the University of Athen’s Department of Chemistry website at http://www.chem.uoa.gr/Applets/AppletQtest/Appl_Qtest2.html.
Note: although much of the department’s website is in Greek, this page is in English.
-“Statistical Treatment of Analytical Data: Outliers (Chapter 6)” by Z.B. Alfassi, Z. Boger and Y. Ronen. CRC Press: 2005. This chapter is available
for reading through Google books if your library doesn’t have a copy.
Qcrit Values for Dixon's Q-test Outliers
Data points Risk of false rejection (%)
N 0.5 1 5 10
3 0.994 0.988 0.941 0.886
4 0.926 0.889 0.765 0.679
5 0.821 0.780 0.642 0.557
6 0.740 0.698 0.560 0.482
7 0.680 0.637 0.507 0.434
8 0.725 0.683 0.554 0.479
9 0.677 0.635 0.512 0.441
10 0.639 0.597 0.477 0.409
11 0.713 0.679 0.576 0.517
12 0.675 0.642 0.546 0.490
13 0.649 0.615 0.521 0.467

Grubbs’ T-test: This test can be used to evaluate multiple possible outliers. Start with the furthest
outlier, | | , and discard it if T > Tcrit.

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Tcrit Values for Grubbs' T-test for Outliers
Data points Risk of false rejection (%)
N 0.1 0.5 1 5 10
3 1.155 1.155 1.155 1.153 1.148
4 1.496 1.496 1.492 1.463 1.425
5 1.780 1.764 1.749 1.672 1.602
6 2.011 1.973 1.944 1.822 1.729
7 2.201 2.139 2.097 1.938 1.828
8 2.358 2.274 2.221 2.032 1.909
9 2.492 2.387 2.323 2.110 1.977
10 2.606 2.482 2.410 2.176 2.036
15 2.997 2.806 2.705 2.409 2.247
20 3.230 3.001 2.884 2.557 2.385
25 3.389 3.135 3.009 2.663 2.486
50 3.789 3.483 3.336 2.956 2.768
100 4.084 3.754 3.600 3.207 3.017

If you discard the outlier, and suspect others, then recalculate and s in order to evaluate the next
furthest point.