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TheWilcoxon

Rank Sum Test

A510.02SCH

fcULMERSHE COLLEGE

HIGHER EDUCATION

HYPOTHESIS TESTING 1

CLASS No. ACCESS Nq.

The Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test

Research is being conducted in thousands of subject areas today. The researcher may be a scientist,

technologist, artist, educationalist or a social scientist and he usually starts with a hunch, a wild idea,

some divine inspiration or a rational thought that something may or may not be true. He would set this

down as a formal hypothesis which he would naturally wish to test.

In order to test the hypothesis he will analyse some data which will enable him to accept or reject the

hypothesis. In some situations he can establish the truth or falsity of the hypothesis with absolute certainty.

For example,

Hypothesis: The planet Jupiter has at least 12 moons. (This is true with 100% certainty.)

Hypothesis: In Great Britain more people attend church on Sundays than Football League

matches on Saturdays. (This is true with 100% certainty.)

These statements belong to the secure world of hard fact and indisputable evidence. But just as often,

the hypothesis cannot be established with absolute 100% certainty. For example, consider the following

hypothesis that might be postulated by a research worker.

Hypothesis: Blue-eyed people are taller than brown-eyed people of the same age and sex.

It would be virtually impossible to measure the height of every blue and brown-eyed person, and so we

cannot be absolutely 100% certain about the truth (or otherwise) of this hypothesis. In practice, a sample

of blue-eyed people would be compared with a sample of brown-eyed people by using a statistical test.

This test might lead to the conclusion that the one group is not really any taller than the other group

in fact, despite differences in height from person to person.

But this conclusion cannot be held with 100% certainty. Even if all the people from the two samples

together were exactly the same height, we still cannot be 100% certain about blue and brown-eyed people

in general, from the two relatively small samples.

Are men better drivers than women? Does indulgence in soft drugs lead to hard drugs? Is independent

learning more effective than conventional teacher-based learning? In each case, only a tentative conclusion

about the population as a whole can be reached from a statistical analysis of just a sample. Although a

degree of uncertainty is unavoidable, the science of statistics is concerned with calculating precise

probabilities for these uncertainties so that we can, at least, know the likelihood of our being in error.

In the course of this sequence of three units you will learn how to write down a suitable hypothesis for

a statistical test, and how to calculate the probability that your conclusion is in error.

This unit aims to teach the use of a 'non-parametric' test, namely the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test for assessing

the significance of the difference between two independent samples. In this context, the objectives for this

unit are that you will

in population A and those in population B";

(b) possess an understanding of 'significance' and of 'significance level'. The latter is defined in the

unit as the probability of incorrectly rejecting H 0 ;

(c) be able to use tables of critical values and to write down the corresponding rejection regions;

(tables at the 5% level only will be used)

(d) appreciate the justification of the critical values. This will be achieved by-deriving--the " :'";\ i

Wilcoxon test from 'first principles' using a rn'in.imum of abstract . mathematics; , '-,-. '- v

(e) be able to interpret 'significant' and 'non-significant' .values-for the. test statistic,in each test j- ' '"!

and also be aware of the dangers of drawing erroneous conclusions. V f ; '( -.- ; '

Objectives (b) and (e) are considered to be the major ones foij a sensible and well-understood appli$9.tioii.i -^

of any statistical test. / ',"' C.... '

CM 41

What you need to know before starting this unit

You should be able to study successfully the three units in the sequence even if you have done very little

statistics before. In fact, all you need to know is some simple probability theory. If you can follow

and understand the probability arguments below then you are ready to tackle this unit.

"Since there are 5 vowels in the alphabet (A, E, I, O, U), then if I choose a letter completely

at random, the probability of obtaining a vowel is the fraction ~."

26

4 1

"The probability that I draw an ace from a shuffled pack of cards is (which is TT)."

52 13

"If I throw two dice together then there are 36 possible pairs of results. For example,

1 and 1, 1 and 2, 1 and 3, 2 and 1, and so on. If I want the two numbers to add up to

seven then I will need either 1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4, 4 and 3, 5 and 2, or 6 and 1.

So out of the total of 36 possible pairs, just 6 of them will add up to 7. So the probability

ft 1

that I get a sum of 7 from the two dice is (which is )."

36 6

The text is designed to test you as it teaches you. So you will find it broken into sections. These

sections are called frames, and they are numbered sequentially. Some frames put questions to you, and

give you the answers immediately below. Such frames are easily recognised by the dotted line which

separates the answer from the question, and by the arrow in the left-hand margin, which shows where the

answer begins.

To work through the text, then, you will need to equip yourself with some kind of a work book - referred

to in the text as your 'answer book' - and a piece of paper with which you can hide the answer in the text

until you have written your answer in your answer book.

Two ruled lines after a frame means that you have reached a convenient stopping place. By looking for

the next set of double lines, you can judge whether you have time to complete another section of work.

Try not to stop between frames so marked, or the rhythm of your work may be lost.

When you are satisfied that you have understood the material in this unit, read the Summary on- pages 19

and 20 . You should then tackle the Post-test on page 25 without referring to the text.

| WITHDRAWN

| University of

I Reading Library

N22426

Here are four hypotheses that might be tested statistically:

(iii) The addition of fluoride in drinking water reduces the incidence of tooth decay. <

(iv) The use of soft drugs encourages the use of hard drugs.

These hypotheses are imprecise as they stand. For instance, how do you measure 'driving skill';

is independent learning more 'effective' for passing examinations or for giving a better understanding

of a subject?

Let's see how the first hypothesis above can be modified in order to make it suitable for a

statistical test.

Ever since the invention of the motor car, it has been a favourite contention of the male sex that

men are, on the whole, better drivers than women. It is often unwise to generalise, and there

are certainly many women drivers who are better than some men drivers. However, the

hypothesis put forward by some people is that the overall standard of driving of men is superior

to that of women. Can we test this by taking a sample of men drivers and a sample of women

drivers and comparing their driving skills?

First, we must define the term 'driving skill'. This is a highly subjective and personal quality

- one person would rate confidence, nerve and decisiveness highly, whilst someone else would

prefer caution, prudence and cool-headedness. These are difficult things to measure anyway.

One quality that most people would agree is necessary for good driving, is good reactions.

It is vital to be able to react quickly in an emergency, regardless of who is at fault.

This quality of 'good reactions' can be measured by the quantity 'reaction time'. This is the time

taken from the moment an emergency arises to the moment that one reacts to it. Most people

have a reaction time of between 200 and 500 ms. (1 ms = \ millisecond, i.e. I thousandth of

a second.)

Though a low reaction time, in itself, does not mean that one is a good driver, reaction time is

measurable, and, being measurable, it provides, for our purposes, a convenient quantity for

comparing driving abilities.

CM 41

So, imagine that a researcher formulates the hypothesis:

' THE REACTION TIME OF MEN DRIVERS IS LESS, ON THE AVERAGE, THAN THE

REACTION TIME OF WOMEN DRIVERS OF THE SAME AGE.

Though there may be some men whose reaction time is greater than many women of the same age,

the researcher claims that, on the whole, men tend to react more quickly than women.

atrOd

The above hypothesis is now precise, but it is not the hypothesis that would be tested in practice.

With a little thought you can see that there are three possible hypotheses for the situation.

(a) THE REACTION TIMES OF MEN DRIVERS IS ILESSI. ON THE AVERAGE, THAN THE

REACTION TIMES OF WOMEN DRIVERS OF THE SAME AGE.

(b) THE REACTION TIMES OF MEN DRIVERS IS |NO DIFFERENT! , ON THE AVERAGE,

FROM THE REACTION TIMES OF WOMEN DRIVERS OF THE SAME AGE.

(c) THE REACTION TIMES OF MEN DRIVERS IS iGREATERl , ON THE AVERAGE, THAN

THE REACTION TIMES OF WOMEN DRIVERS OF THE SAME AGE.

These three alternatives cover all the possibilities, though only one of them is true, of course.

Imagine yourself as an uncommitted and fair researcher. Which hypothesis appears to be the most

unbiased and impartial one for testing?

Hypothesis (b). A woman driver might prefer to see hypothesis (c) proven and a man driver might

prefer (a). However, hypothesis (b) is the only impartial one of the three alternatives.

As in the driving skill example, this hypothesis is one of three alternatives. Write down the other two.

You may have worded your answers in a different way, especially (a).

CM 41

7

\

I Which is the most suitable hypothesis, from the three alternatives, to adopt for testing?

It is the most suitable because the wording does not express favour towards either way of learning.

Even though we are very often looking for definite differences (say differences in .driving skill between

men and women or differences in the effectiveness of independent and conventional learning) we should

be impartial, sceptical even, and assume there are no differences, on the average, until evidence

convinces us otherwise.

In general the impartial, no difference hypothesis is called the NULL HYPOTHESIS and is written

as H0 for short, (pronounced 'H-nought'}. It is this hypothesis that is tested statistically (often with

a view to its rejection).

Write down as precisely as you can the Null Hypothesis, H0 , that would be tested for each of (iii)

and (iv) in Frame 1.

(iii) H0 : The addition of fluoride in drinking water has |no effectl on the incidence of tooth decay.

(iv) H0 : The use of soft drugs makes [no difference! to the use of hard drugs.

If we return to the driving skill controversy, we can test the truth of H0 for this example by applying

the Wllcoxon Rank Sum Test to sample data. The test is useful for both large and small samples,

but for simplicity we shall use small samples to begin with. Imagine that four men and six women

of the same age have their reaction times measured. This can be done by playing a single note

over headphones. The pitch of the 'note suddenly changes and the subject must press a button as

soon as possible after hearing the change. The time taken between the pitch change and the

pressing of the button is the reaction time.

Remember that the researcher hopes to show that men drivers have smaller reaction times than

women drivers (see Frame 4), but, for the time being, he is assuming the Null Hypothesis - that

there is 'no difference' between the sexes.

10 Procedure

The ten measurements are set out in ascending order like this:

MMFMFMFFFF

Times 270 280 290 320 340 370 380 400 410 450

This is called RANKING the measurements. Then each measurement is given its RANK order.

The smallest reaction time has a rank of 1, and, as there are ten measurements, the largest has

a rank of 10. We now get:

M M F M F M F F F F

Times 270 280 290 320 340 370 380 400 410 450

Ranks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

When the results are set out like this we can see that 3 out of the 4 M's are in the left half of the row.

Now if the four men had ranks 1, 2, 3 and 4 (i.e. first, second, third and fourth places) then most

people would feel that men drivers almost certainly have lower reaction times than women. There

would be less certainty if they had ranks 1, 2, 3 and 5 and our results give ranks 1, 2, 4 and 6.

Can we still conclude that men have lower reaction times or do we give the benefit of the doubt to

the Null Hypothesis?

To answer this question we combine the four ranks by simply adding them together. The total is

called the rank sum and is given the symbol W (after Wilcoxon, the originator of the test). What is

the rank sum W for the four men's results?

11 Now if H0 is_ true (that the reaction times of men and women are, on average, the same), then we

would expect an even mixture of M's and F's along the ranks with no 'bunching' at either end.

If, however, we find that the M's are excessively bunched at, for instance, the low end of the scale,

then we would have to reject H0 and conclude instead that men's reaction times are shorter than

women's. This bunching would reveal itself in a low value for W.

On the other hand a high value of W would be an indication of excessive bunching of the M's at the

high end of the scale. What could we conclude about men drivers' reaction times in such a situation?

12 To be consistent with H0> then, we expect W to be neither very low nor very high. In order to

make a judgement about what is 'low' and what is 'high', we need to find what is the lowest possible

value for W (and the highest).

What is the lowest possible value for the rank sum W, of the four M's, in general?

The lowest possible value isW=10. W=l+2+3 + 4=10. This will happen when the results

are arranged.

MMMMFFFFF F

Ranks 123456789 10

13 I What is the highest possible value for the rank sum of the four M's?

W=7+8 + 9 + 10=34.

CM 41

14 This means that, in general, W can take any value from W = 10 up to W = 34. If the researcher

really wants to demonstrate that men drivers have better reactions than women drivers then he would

be interested in obtaining a fairly low value for W. But how low?

_______A

reject

Clearly a line must be drawn somewhere. We must identify a definite CRITICAL VALUE for W,

so that when a rank sum is obtained that is smaller than this value, then H0 is to be rejected.

Statisticians have compiled tables that give these critical values for various sample sizes. In our

example (sample of 4 M's and 6 F's) we can say that:

if W is 13 or less

then HQ is rejected and we conclude that men have better reactions than women, (The reason why

the' critical value of W is 13 will be given shortly.)

Should W have any value greater than 13, then, we do not reject H0 , unless, of course, it is near

to 34, the highest possible value. However, for low values of W, the range of values

W = 10, 11, 12 or 13

is called the REJECTION REGION for HQ , because obtaining one of them entitles as to reject the

impartial HQ with reasonable confidence.

15 Returning to the value of the rank sum obtained by the researcher, W = 13, it can be seen that this

value is within the rejection region. The researcher has obtained an unacceptably low value for the

rank sum. He must therefore reject the 'no difference' HQ, and turn to the alternative hypothesis

that men drivers do have better reactions than women drivers.

Two things should be pointed out at this stage. Firstly, we cannot reject H0 with absolute certainty.

It is only highly unlikely that H 0 is true. Secondly, the data is fictitious, and, in fact, the insurance

companies make no distinction between the sexes in estimating premiums for car-drivers. Their

only considerations are the age of the driver and the type of car.

16 In the last example, the researcher was concerned with the rejection region W = 10, 11, 12 or 13.

However, a second researcher may wish to demonstrate the hypothesis that men drivers have greater

reaction times than women drivers. Would this second researcher adopt the same Null Hypothesis

as the first?

Yes - he too must assume that there is 'no difference' until evidence indicates otherwise.

17 The main difference between the two researchers is that the second hopes to obtain a high value of W

from his sample. In fact,

if W is 31 or more

then H 0 is rejected.

This range of values is called the UPPER REJECTION REGION and W = 31 is called the UPPER

CRITICAL VALUE. This critical value has also been obtained from tables.

-,r-W

10 it it 1} m- 15 ic, /7 is /? 2c 21 a 25 n+ z? 26 27 zr 29 jo y *>t %, j>tt-

The following results in milliseconds are obtained by the second researcher (using different subjects

from the first).

Rank the measurements and find the rank sum of the 4 m's. (See Frame 10 if you have any

difficulty.)

FFFMFFMFMM

260 290 320 330 350 370 380 410 420 430

Ranks 123456789 10

W = 4 + 7 + 9 + 10 = 30.

18 I Can the second researcher reasonably reject the Null Hypothesis from his evidence?

No. The value of W obtained (W = 30) does not fall within the upper rejection region.

19 In less technical language, this means that the second researcher's evidence is not strong enough for

him to doubt the hypothesis that men and women drivers do have the same reaction times, on the

average, despite differences from person to person.

If the second researcher had obtained a value W= 32, say, from his sample, then the Null Hypothesis

would be rejected by him. What alternative hypothesis should he then adopt?

That men drivers have greater reaction times than women drivers.

CM 41

Exercise (The answers are on page 21.) - . ..

1. Is traffic less on Sundays than on Weekdays? Write down the Null Hypothesis for this question

in your answer book.

Here is some sample data to enable you to answer the above question.

(a) For Winter 1971, 6 Weekdays and 4 Sundays were chosen at random. The volume of

traffic (in millions of vehicle kilometres) for each of these days was as follows:

(Taken from 'Traffic census results for 1971' by J.B. Dunn.) ' ' .

Rank the ten measurements in ascending order and find the rank sum W of the

4 S results. Use Frame 14 to decide what conclusion you can draw about

(ii) the volume of Sunday traffic compared with the volume of Weekday traffic in Winter.

(b) However, in Summer 1971 the traffic situation is different. Again we compare 6 days

of Weekday traffic with 4 days of Sunday traffic.

Rank the ten measurements in ascending order and find the rank sum W of the 4S results.

(ii) the relative volumes of traffic on Sunday and Weekday traffic in Summer?

2. In 1965, Capital Punishment was abolished in Great Britain. Some people are concerned that

the removal of such a deterrent causes an increase in the murder rate.

Home Office figures for the number of murder victims in England and Wales during 6 years

before 1965 and 4 years after 1965 are given below.

("Murder 1957 to 1968", Home Office Statistical Division Report on Murder in England and Wales)

(a) If one is contending that removal of the death penalty has led an increase in murder

victims, what would be the Null Hypothesis?

(b) Rank the measurements and find the rank sum W of the 4 B results.

(c) What conclusion .can you draw, from this evidence, about the probable effect of removing

Capital Punishment upon the murder rate?

3. A sample of four measurements (Sample A) is compared with a sample of six measurements

(Sample B) by using the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test. It is found that the rank sum W of the

four A results is W = 15. What is the rank sum of the six B results?

20 The mathematics of the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test will now be investigated in order to justify the

critical values W = 13 and W = 31.

We found that the lowest possible value for W is W = 10 when the four measurements in the smaller

sample have ranks 1, 2, 3, 4. No other set of four ranks will give a rank sum of 10. There is

also only one way to obtain a rank sum of W = 11. It could only have come from ranks 1, 2, 3, 5.

However, to obtain a sum W = 12 there are two ways to achieve this sum, namely from ranks

1, 2, 3, 6 or 1, 2, 4, 5. (Can you think of any more?)

There are three ways to obtain a sum of W = 13. Can you find them?

21 I There are five ways to obtain a sum W = 14. What are they?

1, 2, 3, 8 or 1, 2, 4, 7 or 1, 2, 5, 6 or 1, 3, 4, 6 or 2, 3, 4, 5.

22 We could continue like this right up to W = 34. Here is an extract from all the possibilities:

W = 10 1 way

W = 11 1 way

W = 12 2 ways

W = 13 3 ways

W = 14 5 ways

W = 30 5 ways

W = 31 3 ways

W = 32 2 ways

W = 33 1 way

W = 34 1 way

(Note for mathematicians - the total number of ways of selecting four numbers from ten is 1f)C. = 210.)

CM 41

23 Out of these 210 possible ways of choosing 4 numbers from the numbers one to ten, we have

2 ways to obtain |W = 10 or W = 111 .............................. (1+1)

4 ways to obtain |w = 10. W = 11 or W = li] ..................... (1+1+2)

7 ways to obtain |W = 10. W = .11. W = 12 or W = Til ............ (1+1+2 + 3)

12 ways to obtain |W = 10, W = 11. W = 12, W = 13 or W = ~14~| ... .(1+1 + 2+3 + 5)

210

1 way to obtain W = 10 out of the 210 ways altogether.) This probability is very nearly % and so

i

if H 0 is true, then the chance of obtaining W = 10 is not very likely (i.e. once in 210).

^^ . There are two ways to obtain W = 10 or W = 11 out of a total of 210 ways altogether.

The fraction is almost 1%.

24 We can represent the situation in diagram form. The values of W (from W = 10 to W = 34) are

drawn horizontally and the vertical lines represent the 'number of ways' to obtain each W value

(see Frame 22).

IS

"H

/z

10

10 II

ll

IZ

II /(, 1J 26 Zl 22 2? 25

II I.

27 22 2<? Jo

/I/

(c) W = 10, W = 11, W = 12, W = 13 or W = 14? (Leave your answer in fraction form)

10

1.0

25

'*'

10-

20 74 2Z 2?

Ih.

30

t/Wtfgf of-

Armed with these calculated probabilities, we are in a position to justify the critical value we have

been using, namely W = 13. We saw that we would be suspicious of very low values of W under

the Null Hypothesis H 0 of 'no difference'.

To obtain a rank sum as low as W = 10 (with H 0 being true) is highly unlikely. The probability of

its happening purely by chance is less than %. If we do obtain a rank sum as low as W = 10

in an actual experiment then we would argue that this is so unlikely to have happened by pure chance,

that we should suspect some other factor being at work instead. In other words, so small a rank

sum is much more likely to be due to men's ability to react more quickly than women in an emergency

than to the Null Hypothesis that there is 'no difference' between the sexes.

To obtain a rank sum in the region W = 10 or W = 11 is also very unlikely The probability of its

happening purely by chance is less than 1%.

To obtain a rank sum in the range W = 10, W = 11 or W = 12 may also be considered unlikely.

The probability that it will happen purely by chance is less than 2%.

Where do we stop? When can we say that an event is not unlikely? A subjective judgement must

be made here. In many statistical tests it is customary to regard an event that has a probability of

5% or less as 'too unlikely to have happened purely by chance'. It is therefore presumed that some

other factor is influencing the results, and that the Null Hypothesis must be abandoned. In other

tests the line might be drawn at 2.5%, at 1% or even at 0.1%. But we shall adopt 5% as our

criterion for the present.

26 When we adopt as our criterion a probability of 5% or less as being too unlikely to have happened by

pure chance, we can see from Frame 24 that to obtain a value for W so low that it falls within the

region W= 10, 11, 12 or 13 is 'too unlikely', since the probability of this is 3.5%. To obtain a

value of W in the region W= 10, 11, 12, 13 or 14, however, is not, by our criterion, 'too unlikely

to have happened by pure chance', since this region has a probability of 6%. So W = 14 cannot be

delegated to the rejection region. The lower rejection region is therefore, by our criterion,

It must, however, be emphasised that the choice of 5% as the criterion is an arbitrary and a

subjective choice. Different criteria for 'unlikely' events are used according to circumstances.

Suppose, now, that we tighten up our criterion. What effect might this have upon the lower rejection

region? Suppose, for example, that we decide to consider an event to be 'too unlikely to have

happened by pure chance' only if it has a probability of 2.5% or less. What would be the lower

rejection region by this more exacting criterion? (See Frame 24)

W = 10, W = 11 or W = 12. From Frame 24, the probability of obtaining a value for W in this

region is 2%, which is less than 2.5%. By this criterion the critical value of W is lowered from

13 to 12.

10

CM 41

27 These small probabilities which we choose to adopt to define an 'unlikely' event are called

SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS. We say "at the 5% significance level, the lower critical value of the

rank sum in the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test is W = 13". Should a researcher be contending that men

have worse reactions than women (thus looking for a high value of W in the test) then he would need

the upper critical value of W. This is W = 31 at the '5% significance' level.

K

16]

/

/z

lo

vati/e

it- \

ZH

to a

I 11

114 1$ 16 f] /y /? 20 2J 22. 2? 2 25 26 27 2? 2? ?0\/_3*-

of

If a rank sum of, say, W = 29 had been obtained, high though it certainly is, it is not significantly

high. The Null Hypothesis of 'no difference' would still allow such a value to be obtained by

random variations.

Suppose, however, that we tighten up our criterion, as we did at the end of the previous frame.

What would be the upper critical value of W at the 2.5% significance level?

W = 32. The rejection region is W= 32, 33, 34, since this region has less than a 2% probability

of happening purely by chance.

28 Suppose we tighten up still further our criterion for rejecting the Null Hypothesis. Suppose we

decide to accept as 'unproven' any value of W which could happen by pure chance with a probability

of 1% or more. Suppose, in other words, we decide to regard as 'significant' rank sums which

could only arise by pure chance less than one in a hundred times. What then, at 'the 1% significance

level' is

(a) the lower rejection region for W? (b) the higher rejection region for W?

29 The Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test is used to judge the significance, or otherwise, of the differences

between two 'samples'. The samples may be, as we have seen, the reaction times of four men and

of six women. They could be samples of temperature measurements, as we shall soon be working on.

Or they could be samples of milk yields of different herds of cattle. Indeed samples of any two

measurable quantities which bear comparison can be assessed for significant differences between them

with the help of the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test.

So far we have been comparing a sample of 4 measurements with a sample of & measurements, and,

at the 5% level of significance, we found that W = 13 was the lower critical value of the rani': sum

of the four measurements and 31 was the upper critical value. Clearly we need to be able to apply

the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test to samples of other than 4 and 6 measurements. The tables on page 24

will help us to do so. Spend a minute or two looking at them.

You see that 'n' is used for the number in the smaller sample, and 'm' for the number in the larger

sample. So in all the cases we have examined so far n = 4 and in = 6. Find n = 4 on the top line.

Take your eye down the column until you are opposite m = 6. There you see 13 and 31, the lower

and upper critical values of the Rank Sum of the n (the smaller) measurements.

11

n 2 3 4 5 6 7

I

m I

l

l

4

I

I

5 l

l

__ 113

6 _ __

What at the 5% level of significance are the lower and upper critical values of W for two samples

of 5 and 7 measurements respectively?

30 I What are the critical values of W if two samples are taken, one of size 10 and one of size 18?

Whatever the weather may be at the moment, it is almost certainly different on the other side of the

world.

How does the weather in New Zealand compare with British weather? Although one usually thinks .

of Pacific Islands in terms of palm-trees and lagoons, in fact New Zealand is only a little nearer

the equator than Great Britain.

12

CM 41

A meteorologist wishes to test the hypothesis that the January temperatures in New Zealand are greater

than the June temperatures in Great Britain. (Remember that January is a summer month in the

Southern Hemisphere.)

H 0 : There is no difference between the January temperatures in New Zealand and the June

temperatures in Great Britain.

32 In order to test this Null Hypothesis, we shall use data collected during 1951-1960 at the Greenwich

Observatory, London, and at Christchurch, New Zealand. At each weather centre, the average

monthly temperature is recorded.

1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960

June temperature

15.5 16.3 15.3 14.7 15.3 14.2 17.1 14.9 16.4 16.8

London

January temperature

15.1 15.4 15.2 16.5 17.6 19.6 17.7 15.6 17.4 17.3

Christchurch

Rank the measurements and find the rank sum W of the London sample. (Note - two of the London

temperatures are the same. If they were slightly different they would have had ranks 6 and 7,

so assign ranks of 6| to each.)

1 L LLZZLLZLZLLZLLZZZZZ

14.2 14.7 14.9 15.1 15.2 .15.3^ 15.3, 15.4 15.5 15.6 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.8 17.1 17.3 17.4 17.6 17.7 19.6

1 2 34 5 63 65 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

33 Turn to the tables on page 24 and identify the lower critical value of W (for n = 10 and m = 10).

What conclusion can you draw about the Null Hypothesis, and then interpret this in terms of British

and New Zealand weather?

lower rejection

region

W = 82

Lower critical value is W= 82. Thus the value of W obtained is significantly low (at the 5%

significance level). We can thus reject H0 as being unlikely and prefer the alternative hypothesis

that January temperatures in New Zealand are higher than June temperatures in London. (The

individual bars of the previous diagrams have been 'smoothed out' in drawing the above curve.)

13

34 We concluded that the temperature recordings made in the two cities are significantly different from

each other. In other words, the differences are 'unlikely' to be due simply to random fluctuations

around temperatures which are basically equal. But we could be wrong.

In general, we reject H0 because W turns out to be- significantly high or significantly low. It falls

within a 'rejection region'. But we cannot reject HQ with absolute certainty. As an analogy,

imagine that 12 throws of a single coin produce 11 heads.jMost people would reject the (null) hypothesis

that the coin is an unbiased one, because of the significantly high number of heads produced. They

would conclude that the coin has a bias towards heads. The argument would be that an unbiased coin

is very unlikely to produce 11 or more heads from 12 throws. When a certain coin does behave like

this, it seems more reasonable to suppose that the coin is biased towards heads, rather than that the

coin is actually unbiased, but has behaved in an unlikely way. Nevertheless, we should bear in mind

the small possibility that the coin is actually unbiased and that a very unlikely event has happened.

Similarly, when we reject HO , we should always bear in mind the possibility that we are wrong, and

that, instead, a very unlikely event has happened.

35 When, in the weather example, we obtained the 'significant' value of W = 80, we should bear in mind,

as we should whenever we use the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test, that the value of W can be 82 or smaller

and HQ can still be true, though, of course, the probability that HQ is true will be less than 5%.

W = 82

The differences in temperature could be due to mere chance, though this is unlikely. But we can

put a definite figure on the chance that we have wrongly rejected HQ . The chance is no more

than 5%. (You may find it useful at this point to read from Frame 25 again.)

36 If a second researcher adopts a 2.5% significance level, then he is being stricter than the first who

adopted a 5% level. This is because he has a smaller chance of being wrong if he rejects H 0

(his chance of being wrong now is less than 2.5%).

However, the price he must pay for this extra certainty is that, before he can reject HQ , his evidence

must be stronger.

Will the lower critical value of W at the 2.5% level be greater or smaller than the lower critical value

at the 5% level?

Smaller.

14

CM 41

37 The diagrams below illustrate the reason why the 2.5% critical value is lower than the 5% value.

You should note, too, that for samples of 10 and 10, the lower critical value for W at the

significance level is 78.

2.

W= 82 W=78 W=82

The diagrams also illustrate the fact that the value of W obtained (W = 80), while being significantly

low at the 5% significance level, is not significantly low at the 2.5% level.

To the second researcher, the evidence is not strong enough to convince him that New Zealand is

warmer in the summer than Great Britain. He regards the differences in temperature as being

due to mere random effects. He does not think they are large enough to be explained as being due

to some real difference between the climates of the two countries.

38 This may puzzle you. One researcher has rejected HQ- . The other has not rejected H 0 . So who

is correct? The answer is that we cannot tell for sure. Statistical techniques cannot prove

anything. They can only give probabilities. The first researcher (the 5% man) has come to a

definite conclusion. He may be wrong. The chance that he is_ wrong is 5%. The second has not

really reached any positive conclusion. Being more cautious than the first, he is not prepared to

discard HQ until the evidence is more convincing. He is only accepting HQ by default, since the

evidence has not convinced him that he should reject it. HE HAS NOT PROVED THAT, H 0 IS TRUE,

OR EVEN THAT H0 IS 97.5% CERTAIN TO BE TRUE.

39 A value, W = 80, does not point to any significant difference in temperature at the 2.5% level.

Equally, it does not point to any significant similarity. After all, W = 80 is ominously close to the

critical value of W = 78 so any statement like "I am 97.5% certain that H 0 is true", if made by the

second researcher would be an incorrect interpretation of the evidence at his command.

40 Unfortunately, statistical techniques are abused as much as they are used, and all too often incorrect

conclusions are drawn from data. The following guidelines should help you to avoid making errors

of judgement.

In general, a statistical test leads to a REJECTION of, or an ACCEPTANCE of the Null Hypothesis.

The decision is determined by the value of W calculated at the significance level chosen by the

research worker.

(a) REJECTION

If W falls within the rejection region then HQ is rejected, and an alternative hypothesis is

adopted. The significance level chosen represents the probability that HQ was wrongly

rejected. It is the probability that HO is actually true, and that an unlikely event has

happened. Accordingly, the smaller the chosen significance level is, the more convincing

is the rejection of HQ when the evidence for rejection arises.

(b) ACCEPTANCE

If the value of W does not fall within the rejection region then we must 'accept' HQ .

If W is very near to the rejection region, the acceptance will be a grudging one, an acceptance

by default. A better term than 'acceptance' of HQ is 'non-rejection' of HQ to reflect the fact

that, in many cases, the value of W may be very close to the rejection region. In such cases,

'non-rejection' means that the data almost leads to a rejection of HQ (but not quite). Hence a

typical conclusion might be "the value of W obtained is not significant at the 5% level so the

evidence is not strong enough to reject the Null Hypothesis that . ..".

15

41 Let's run through the 'logical' arguments involved in statistical testing once more. Then you will

have a chance to gain some practice in the exercise that follows.

Very often a researcher is looking for definite differences between two samples of measurements.

Despite this he assumes a Null Hypothesis, which states that there is 'no difference' between the two

samples other than random effects. Only when the evidence of the statistical test is strong enough

can he reject this hypothesis in favour of some alternative.

For example, a farmer may be hoping that a certain additive to the diet of his dairy cows will

increase milk yield.

The farmer fed the additive to 4 cows (sample A) but not to 6 other cows (sample B).

The milk yields, in litres, during one day were as follows:

If using the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test the 10 measurements are ranked in ascending order

and the rank sum of the smaller sample is calculated. The value obtained is

W = 32 (n = 4, m = 6) .

The researcher would conclude that this value is significantly high at the 5% level. This

means that, if HQ is true, the probability of obtaining this value of W or a higher one is

smaller than 5%. Since 5% is generally regarded as a small probability it is more likely

that H0 is not true. So it can be rejected.

If, say, W = 29 had been obtained, HQ would not be rejected. This does not mean

that HO is likely to be true, but rather that the results from the samples are not quite

convincing enough to reject the Null Hypothesis.

1. In the Wilcoxon test for n = 3, m = 6, the lowest possible value for the rank sum of the

3 results in the smaller sample isW=6, i.e. 1+2+3. The highest possible value is

W = 24, i.e. 9+8+7. The number of different ways that some of the values for W can

be obtained are

W = 6 1 way (1, 2, 3)

W = 7 1 way (1, 2, 4)

W = 8 2 ways (1, 2, 5 or 1, 3, 4)

W = 9 3 ways (1, 2, 6 or 1, 3, 5 or 2, 3, 4)

W = 21 3 ways (4, 8, 9 or 5, 7, 9 or 6, 7, 8)

W = 22 2 ways (5, 8, 9 or 6, 7, 9)

W = 23 1 way (6,8,9)

W = 24 1 way (7,8, 9)

Total 84 ways

16 CM 41

If HQ is true, then these 84 ways are equally likely. Find the probability in each case that

What, then, would be the lower rejection region at (a) 5%, (b) 2.5% significance levels for

values of W? Check your 5% answer with the tables.

(Note: It may help you to know that 77 = 1.2%. So, for example, = 5- X 1.2- = 6%.)

2. In using the Wilcoxon test for n = 3, m = 6, a rank sum W = 20 is obtained. Write true (T)

or false (F) for each of these conclusions.

(ii) W = 20 is not significantly high at the 5% level. Therefore I am 95% sure that H0

is true.

on the evidence.

3. In using the Wilcoxon test for n = 3 and m = 6 again, a rank sum of W = 22 is obtained this time.

Write T or F for each of these conclusions.

a one in twenty chance that HQ is really true.

What conclusion can you draw about H 0 from W= 22 at the 2.5% significance level? (See

question 1 to assess the significance of W = 22 at the 2.5% level.)

4. A standard 'memory recall' test was administered to a group of sixth-formers -and to a. group

of people over forty. This was to determine if the memory of middle-aged people is worse

than that of sixth-formers.

The memory recall test involved the experimenter reading a list of twelve words

just once to each group. Each person had to write down immediately as many of

the dozen words that could be recalled. The number of words correctly recalled

was recorded and the results for both groups were as follows * :

Group A Group B

(7 middle-aged) (8 sixth-formers)

8. 11, 3, 5 ' 7, 4, 10, 6

9. 0, 10 10, 2, 12, 11

(b) Rank all 15 results in ascending order. (See (c) below for dealing with ties.)

(c) Tied ranks. Where two or more results are the same you should allocate ranks

as if- they were slightly different and then average out the ties. For example,

Results 0 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 5 , 5 , 6 , 8 , 10 , 10 , 12

* If you have the time and inclination you may like to generate your own sample data. Write

down twelve two-syllable words and slowly read them once to each of your 'subjects' and ask

them to recite as many back to you as they can remember. Your two samples do not have

to be of size seven and eight, of course, though no more than about seven in each is recommended.

17

(d) When using the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test you should always select the smaller size

sample for calculating W. So in this case, find the rank sum W of the seven

middle-aged people (i.e. sample A).

(e) Use the tables of critical values to decide whether you can reject H0 or not at the

5% significance level.

(f) What conclusion can you draw from the evidence about the change in recall ability

with age?

5. Most people are poor at estimating the passing of time. Depending upon the circumstances,

a minute or so can seem like eternity or like an instant. A psychologist asked a group of

people to sit silently for 200 seconds. He then asked each one to estimate how long the time

interval had been. He was trying to demonstrate that, in such circumstances, people tend'to

overestimate the passing of time.

30 , 0 , 20 , 10 35 , 25 , 5 , 50

15 ,30 40 , 50 , 30

For instance, the first one in the underestimates group estimated the 200 second

interval to be 170 seconds. Now if H 0 is true, then we expect the results between

the two groups to be approximately equal - the underestimates should 'balance' the

overestimates. We can use the Wilcoxon test to see if there is any significant

difference between the two groups.

(b) Rank the results and find the rank sum W of the smaller sized sample.

(c) Use the tables to decide whether you can reject H 0 or not.

(d) What conclusion do you draw from the evidence about people's estimation of a

200 second time interval?

(e) Estimate the probability that you have drawn an incorrect conclusion from the

sample data.

(Again this is an experiment that you may wish to do for yourself. Use no more than

15 subjects.)

This means that it must be significantly high at the 1% significance level also.

This means that it must be significantly high at the 5% level also.

(c) The probability of obtaining 10 or more heads from 12 throws of an unbiased coin

is smaller than 5%. (This is true.) So if I throw a coin 12 times and I obtain

10 heads then this is convincing enough evidence to conclude (at the 5% significance

level) that the coin is not unbiased, but is biased towards heads.

(d) When testing the effectiveness of the safety precautions in the design for a nuclear

power station it is preferable to use a 0.1% significance level than a'5% significance

level.

When you are satisfied that you have understood the material in this unit, read the Summary on pages

19 and 20. Then work through the post-test on page 25 without referring to the text. Next, check

your answers to the post-test against those provided inside the back cover. Finally, discuss your

work with your tutor, if you have one, and decide if you are ready to begin the next unit in the sequence.

18

CM 41

SUMMARY

(i) The Null Hypothesis (written 'H 0 ' and pronounced 'H nought')

may .suspect that there is a definite difference between two groups, but to test this theory using the

evidence from sample data, a Null Hypothesis of no difference must be assumed.

or (b) Middle class people live longer than working class people,

(b) Middle class people have the same life expectancy as working class people.

Beside putting the researcher into the role of an unbiased judge, the Null Hypothesis is, generally,

the simplest of all possible testing hypotheses in mathematical terms.

Any test involves computing a certain value, say X. Since the researcher is usually interested in

rejecting the Null Hypothesis, he will be looking for significantly high values of X, or significantly

low values of X.

At the '5% significance level', a significant value of X means that the value occurs in a region

that is unlikely if HQ is true. The probability that HQ is. true for such a value of X is 5% or less.

Such an unlikely event is judged to be incompatible with HQ . Thus the Null Hypothesis is rejected.

However, the unlikely can happen and HQ could be true. The probability that H0 is true after all,

is no greater than 5%.

A smaller significance level, therefore, will reduce this risk of incorrectly rejecting H0 . The

price that is paid for making the test more strict, is that the evidence needs to be more 'convincing'

before HQ can be rejected. The critical value of X becomes more extreme.

(iii) Interpretation

interpreted as inconclusive evidence and HQ is to be 'accepted' as true only until stronger

evidence can be presented.

Two independent samples are taken and the measurements are ranked. The sum of the rank numbers of

the smaller sample is computed. This total is given the symbol 'W after the name of the inventor of the

test. The tables list both the upper and lower critical values of W at the 5% level.

AABBABABBB

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

ranks 123456789 10

The data from Sample A is fewer in number, so we add up the rank numbers of these.

W=l+2+5+7= 15; this is not significantly low since the lower critical value is W = 13.

So the Null Hypothesis cannot be rejected.

20

CM 41

ANSWERS TO THE EXERCISE ON PAGES 7 AND 8

(a) S S We S We S We We We We

392 411 413 424. 429 431 436 440 444 452

Ranks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

(ii) The volume of Sunday traffic is less than the volume of Weekday traffic in winter.

(b) We We S We We We S S We S

517 519 521 534 545 546 548 549 553 562

Ranks 12 3456789 10

W=3+7+8-t-10=28.

(ii) There seems to be no difference between the volume of Sunday traffic and Weekday

traffic in summer, on the basis of the evidence.

2. (a) HQ: The removal of the death penalty has made no difference to number of murder victims.

(b) A B A A A A B A B B-

118 119 122 123 129 135 136 144 148 177

Ranks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

W = 2 + 7 + 9 + 10 = 28.

(c) W = 28 is not within the rejection region and so we do not reject HQ . Hence, this analysis

of the figures does not suggest that the removal of the death penalty has increased the

murder rate.

3. If the numbers 1 to 10 add up to 55. If four of the numbers add up to 15 then the sum of the

other six must be 40.

21

ANSWERS TO THE EXERCISE ON PAGES 16. 17 AND 18

(a) W = 6, 7 or 8. (b) W = 6 or 7.

(ii) F. We assume H 0 to be true for the purposes of argument and the evidence has not been

good enough for us to reject it. This is not the same as being 95% sure of HQ-

(iii) T.

3. (i) F. (ii) T. We conclude that HQ cannot be rejected at the 2.5% significance level.

4. (a) HQ: The memory of middle-aged people is no different to the memory of sixth-formers,

ABABABBAAABBBAB

0 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 10 11 11 12

Ranks 12 34 56 7 8 9 11 11 11 13j 13j 15

(f) We conclude that the evidence does not suggest that recall ability is different for middle-aged

people and sixth-formers.

(b) ABAAABAABBBBB

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 30 30 35 40 50 50

Ranks 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 8 8 10 11 12| 12j

W=l+3+4+5+8+8=29.

(c) The value of W is significantly low (since the critical value is W = 29 also). Hence we

reject HQ .

(d) The evidence indicates that people tend to overestimate the 200 second time interval.

22

CM 41

6. (a) False.

For instance, X is within the area (and so is significantly high at the 5% level)

but not within the 1% area.

(b) True.

(P) True.

(d) True - because it is better to be 1 in a 1 000 sure (i.e. 0.1%') than 1 in 20 sure (i.e.

with such a potentially dangerous thing as a faulty nuclear power station.

23

THE WILCOXON RANK SUM TEST

m = size of larger sample

n 2 3 456 789 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

m

6 11

4

18 25

3 7 12 19

5

13 20 28 36

3 8 13 20 28

6

15 22 31 40 50

3 8 14 21 29 39

7

17 25 34 44 55 66

4 9 15 23 31 41 51

8

18 27 37 47 59 71 85

4 10 16 24 33 43 54 66

9

20 29 40 51 63 76 90 105

4 10 1.7 26 35 45 56 69 82

to 22 32 43 54 67 81 96 111 128

4 11 18 27 37 47 59 72 86 1.00

1.1

24 34 46 58 71 86 101 117 134 153

5 11 19 28 38 49 62 75 89 104 120

12

25 37 49 62 76 91 106 123 141 160 180

5 12 20 30 40 52 64 78 92 108 125 142

13

27 39 52 65 80 95 112 129 148 167 187 209

6 13 21 31 42 54 67 81 96 11.2 129 147 166

14

28 41 55 69 84 100 117 135 154 174 195 217 240

6 13 22 33 44 56 69 84 99 116 133 152 171 192

15

30 44 58 72 88 105 123 141 161 181 203 225 249 273

16

32 46 60 76 92 110 128 147 167 1.88 210 234 258 283 309

6 15 25 35 47 61 75 90 106 123 142 161 182 203 225 249

17

34 48 63 80 97 114 133 153 174 196 218 242 266 292 319 346

7 15 26 37 49 63 77 93 11.0 127 146 166 187 208 231 255 280

18

35 51 66 83 101 119 139 159 180 203 226 250 275 302 329 357 386

7 16 27 38 51 65 80 96 1.13 131 1.50 171 192 214 237 262 287

19

37 53 69 87 105 124 144 165 187 210 234 258 284 311 339 367 397

7 17 28 40 53 67 83 99 117 135 155 175 197 220 243 268 294

20

39 55 72 90 109 129 149 171 193 217 241 267 293 320 349 378 408

8 17 29 41 55 69 85 102 120 139 159 180 202 225 249 274 301

21 275 302 330 359 389 419

40 58 75 94 113 134 1.55 177 200 224 249

24

CM 41

POST-TEST

(i) As a generalisation, fair-haired people may have Nordic origins and dark-haired people may

have Mediterranean origins. So we can assert

DARK-HAIRED MEN.

(ii) Although a wild animal can never be 'at home' in a zoo, the animal will enjoy a controlled

environment relatively free from disease and attack. So we can assert

(Hi) The advantages of children attending nursery school before the age of five are not so much

academic as allowing them to mix with a large group of other children at an early age.

So we can assert

THAN THOSE WHO DO NOT.

A certain statistical test involves calculating a value for a quantity called X. The lowest possible

value for X is X = 5 and the highest is X = 15. The table below shows the number of ways possible

to obtain each value of X.

Value of X 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

No. of ways to

1 I 1 3 10 25 30 25 1 9 1 Total = 100

obtain this value

If the Null Hypothesis is true, then all of the (100) possible ways are equally likely.

(i) One particular experiment is concerned with predicting significantly low values for X

in order to reject H 0 . What would be the rejection region at the (a) 5%, (b) 2.5%

significance level in each case?

(ill) Another experiment is concerned with significantly high values for X and the rejection region

is X = 14, 15. What is the level of significance; is it (a) 2%, (b) 3%, (c) 4%?

(a) Two researchers, A and B, are separately testing the same Null Hypothesis. On the basis

of his sample data, researcher A rejects HQ at the 5% significance level and researcher B

also rejects HQ , from his own data, but at the -1% significance level. Which researcher

probably has the stronger evidence? Try and give your reasons in a sentence or so.

(b) A statistician is asked to analyse the results of two separate experiments. One is concerned

with the possible side-effects of brain damage when using a new drug. The second is

concerned with the effect of various coloured labels on the selling power of baked beans tins.

He decides to adopt significance levels of 5% and 0.1%. State which experiment received

the 5% level and which the 0.1% level and give your reasons in a sentence or so.

An advertising campaign is launched to boost the sales of BIO washing powder, The weekly sales

(in thousands of packets) before and after the campaign were as follows:

31. 24, 29 35, 27, 32

32. 26, 32 23, 39, 38

34 36, 39, 40

Use the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test to assess whether the campaign has been successful. Do this by

ranking the results and finding the rank sum W of the smaller sample. (The lower critical value

of W is W = 43 at the 5% significance level. The lower critical value of W is W = 37 at the

1% significance level.)

25

IV

(i) H O: Fair-haired men are the same height, on the average, as dark-haired men.

(ii) H0 : Lions in captivity live as long as lions in the wild,

(iii) H O: Children who attend nursery school are as extrovert as those who do not.

(i) (a) X = 5, 6 or 7 because this region covers the bottom of values. (To include 8

within the region would exceed 5%.)

(b) X = 5 or 6.

(ii) (a) X = 7.

(b) X = 6.

(Hi) 3%.

i a) . Researcher B, because he has a smaller chance of incorrectly rejecting HQ (1%) than

researcher A (5%).

(b) The new drug ought to receive a stricter consideration than the baked beans label. Hence

the former should be tested at the 0.1% significance level and the latter at the 5% level.

We test the Null Hypothesis that the campaign has made no difference to sales.

Ranking the results (A = after, B = before).

A B B A B B B B A B A A A

23 24 26 27 29 31 .32 32 32. 34 35 36 38

Ranks 1 2 3 4 5 6 10 11 12 13

W = 2+3+5+6+8+8+10= 42.

At the 5% significance level, this value is significantly low. Hence we can conclude that sales

have been improved by the advertising campaign; but there is a 1 in 20 chance that we are wrong

in this conclusion.

In fact, we cannot improve the 'odds' because if we choose the stricter significance level then

we cannot conclude that sales have been improved.

XS3X-XSOd OX SH3MSNV

CATEGORY 3

Longman

This booklet is one of a collection of self-learning units prepared by the Continuing Mathematics Project

based at the University of Sussex, and sponsored by the Schools Council, the Council for Educational

Technology, the Department of Education and Science, the Scottish Education Department, and a number of

industrial and commercial companies.

Members of the project team: A.W. Fuller (Director 1971-73), R.W. Morris (Director 1974- ),

M.J. Gould, Mrs. B. Harmer, R.J. Hayter, E.B. Loy, Miss K. Oliver, C.J. Rutter, H.M. Semple,

K.L. Winter. \^

For a descriptive brochure listing other units prepared by the Continuing Mathematics Project, write to;

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