Blog posts and articles about testing hypotheses with the statistical method called the T-Test.

Statisticians say the darndest things. At least, that's how it
can seem if you're not well-versed in statistics.
When I began studying statistics, I approached it as a language.
I quickly noticed that compared to other disciplines, statistics
has some unique problems with terminology, problems that don't
affect most scientific and academic specialties.
For
example, dairy science has a highly... Continue Reading

If you've read the first two
parts of this tale, you know
it started when I published a post that involved transforming
data for capability analysis. When an astute reader asked why
Minitab didn't seem to transform the data outside of the capability
analysis, it revealed
an oversight that invalidated the original
analysis.
I
removed the errant post. But to my
surprise, the reader who helped me... Continue Reading

Minitab 17 gives you the confidence you need to improve quality.

Download the Free Trial
By Matthew Barsalou, guest
blogger.
Many statistical tests assume the data being tested came from a
normal distribution. Violating the assumption of normality can
result in incorrect conclusions. For example, a Z test may indicate
a new process is more efficient than an older process when this is
not true. This could result in a capital investment for equipment
that actually results in higher... Continue Reading

Before I joined Minitab, I worked for many years in Penn State's
College of Agricultural Sciences as a writer and editor. I
frequently wrote about food science and particularly food safety,
as I regularly needed to report on the research being conducted by
Penn State's food safety experts, and also edited course materials
and bulletins for professionals and consumers about ensuring they
had safe... Continue Reading

Previously, I’ve written about
how to interpret regression coefficients and their individual P
values.
I’ve also written about
how to interpret R-squared to assess the strength of the
relationship between your model and the response variable.
Recently I've been asked, how does the F-test of the overall
significance and its P value fit in with these other statistics?
That’s the topic of this post!
In... Continue Reading

I recently fielded an interesting question about the probability
and survival plots in Minitab Statistical
Software's Reliability/Survival menus:
Is there a one-to-one match
between the confidence interval points on a probability plot and
the confidence interval points on survival plot at a specific
percentile?
Now, this may seem like an easy question, given that the
probabilities on a survival plot... Continue Reading

Scientists who use the Hubble Space Telescope to explore the
galaxy receive a stream of digitized images in the form binary
code. In this state, the information is essentially worthless-
these 1s and 0s must first be converted into pictures before the
scientists can learn anything from them.
The same is true of statistical distributions and parameters that are used to describe sample data. They... Continue Reading

The NFL recently announced that after scoring a touchdown, teams
will be required to kick the extra point from the 15 yard line as
opposed to the 2 yard line. This is a pretty big change. And
whether you’re trying to improve the quality of your process, or
simply trying to make a sporting event more exciting, it’s always
good to know what kind of effects your change will have. So I’m
going to use... Continue Reading

Earlier, I wrote about the
different types of data statisticians typically encounter. In
this post, we're going to look at why, when given a choice in the
matter, we prefer to analyze continuous data rather than
categorical/attribute or discrete data.
As a reminder, when we assign something to a group or give it a
name, we have created attribute or
categorical data. If we count something,
like... Continue Reading

In
my previous post, I wrote about the hypothesis testing ban in
the Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology. I
showed how P values and confidence intervals provide important
information that descriptive statistics alone don’t provide. In
this post, I'll cover the editors’ concerns about hypothesis
testing and how to avoid the problems they describe.
The editors describe hypothesis testing... Continue Reading

Banned! In February 2015, editor David Trafimow and associate
editor Michael Marks of the Journal of Basic and Applied Social
Psychology declared that the null hypothesis statistical
testing procedure is invalid. They promptly banned P values,
confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing from the journal.
The journal now requires descriptive statistics and effect
sizes. They also encourage large... Continue Reading

As a Minitab
trainer, one of the most common questions I get from training
participants is "what should I do when my data isn’t normal?" A
large number of statistical tests are based on the assumption of
normality, so not having data that is normally distributed
typically instills a lot of fear.
Many practitioners suggest that if your data are not normal, you
should do a nonparametric version of... Continue Reading

Generally speaking, I have a problem with authority. I don’t
like being told what to do or how to do it. I’m not proud of
that.
I recall debating with my High School Trigonometry
teacher
regarding the value of the homework “process.” Specifically, in
those situations where the student in question did not require
practice to get an A. And, if said student was
getting a 98% on the exams, why spend... Continue Reading

Many of the things you need to
monitor can be measured in a concrete, objective way, such as an
item's weight or length. But, many important characteristics are
more subjective, such as the collaborative culture of the
workplace, or an individual's political outlook.
A survey is an excellent way to measure these kinds of
characteristics. To better understand a characteristic, a
researcher asks... Continue Reading

In 1898, Russian economist Ladislaus Bortkiewicz published his
first statistics book entitled Das Gesetz der keinem
Zahlen, in which he included an example that
eventually became famous for illustrating the Poisson distribution.
Bortkiewicz researched
the annual deaths by horse kicks in the Prussian Army from
1875-1984. Data was recorded from 14 different army corps, with one
being the Guard... Continue Reading

In this series of posts, I show how hypothesis tests and
confidence intervals work by focusing on concepts and graphs rather
than equations and numbers.
Previously, I used graphs to show what statistical significance really
means. In this post, I’ll explain both confidence intervals and
confidence levels, and how they’re closely related to P values and
significance levels.
How to Correctly... Continue Reading

Imagine that you are watching a race and that you are located
close to the finish line. When the first and fastest runners
complete the race, the differences in times between them will
probably be quite small.
Now wait until the last runners arrive and consider their
finishing times. For these slowest runners, the differences in
completion times will be extremely large. This is due to the fact
that... Continue Reading

This is a companion post for a series of blog posts about
understanding hypothesis tests. In this series, I create a
graphical equivalent to a 1-sample t-test and confidence interval
to help you understand how it works more intuitively.
This post focuses entirely on the steps required to create the
graphs. It’s a fairly technical and task-oriented post designed for
those who need to create the... Continue Reading

I always knew I was different. Even as a kid.
“Is that me? Way out there in left field?” I asked the doc.
“Yes,” he nodded, as he looked at my chart. “I used brushing to
identify you on the graph.”
I wasn’t sure I liked getting brushed. It felt like my true
identify was being detected and displayed in a window for all to
see.
The doctor must have sensed my discomfort.
“It’s not uncommon—even for those... Continue Reading

What do significance levels and P values mean in hypothesis
tests? What is statistical significance anyway? In this
post, I’ll continue to focus on concepts and graphs to help you
gain a more intuitive understanding of how hypothesis tests work in
statistics.
To bring it to life, I’ll add the significance level and P value
to the graph in my previous post in order to perform a graphical
version of... Continue Reading