Kim Love

An Introduction to Repeated Measures Designs

May 23rd, 2024 by

There are many designs that could be considered Repeated Measures design, and they all have one key feature: you measure the outcome variable for each subject on several occasions, treatments, or locations.

Understanding this design is important for avoiding analysis mistakes. For example, you can’t treat multiple observations on the same subject as independent observations.

Example

Suppose that you recruit 10 subjects (more…)

Member Training: Interactions in Poisson and Logistic Regression – Part 2

December 1st, 2023 by

Interactions in statistical models are never especially easy to interpret. Throw in non-normal outcome variables and non-linear prediction functions and they become even more difficult to understand. (more…)

Six Common Types of Statistical Contrasts

September 18th, 2023 by

When you learned analysis of variance (ANOVA), it’s likely that the emphasis was on the ANOVA table, with its Sums of Squares and F tests, followed by a post-hoc test. But ANOVA is quite flexible in how it can compare means. A large part of that flexibility comes from its ability to perform many types of statistical contrast.

That F test  can tell you if there is evidence your categories are different from each other, which is a start. It is, however, only a start. Once you know at least some categories’ means are different, your next question is “How are they different?” This is what a statistical contrast can tell you.

What is a Statistical Contrast?

A statistical contrast is a comparison of a combination of the means of two or more categories. In practice, they are usually performed as a follow up to the ANOVA F test. Most statistical programs include contrasts as an optional part of ANOVA analysis. (more…)

What is a Randomized Complete Block Design?

July 24th, 2023 by

Designing experiments would always be simple if we could just randomly assign subjects to different treatment conditions with no other restrictions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work.

For example, there are many experimental situations where the subjects aren’t independent of each other. The subjects that are related to each other are combined into clusters called “blocks.” It can happen due to practicalities of running an experiment efficiently or you can intentionally plan it as a way to reduce random variance.

In either case, this is a randomized complete block design. It’s a great design to become familiar with because it will greatly expand your ability to create and analyze experiments.

How It Works

When you have subjects that share characteristics with one another, it can sometimes be difficult to isolate those characteristics directly. This makes it hard to record them as additional variables. By identifying the subjects that are similar, you can still capture how those characteristics affect the outcome. Subjects that are similar are grouped into “blocks.”

From there, you can make treatment assignments so that you put subjects from the same block into different treatment groups.

Why different treatment groups? Suppose subjects from the same block were assigned to the same treatment group. (more…)

What is the Mann-Whitney U Test?

April 13th, 2023 by

When you need to compare a numeric outcome for two groups, what analysis do you think of first? Chances are, it’s the independent samples t-test. But that’s not the only, or always, the best option. In many situations, the Mann-Whitney U test is a better option.

The non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test is also called the Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon test, or the Wilcoxon rank sum test. Non-parametric means that the hypothesis it’s testing is not about the parameter of a particular distribution.

It is part of a subgroup of non-parametric tests that are rank based. That means that the specific values of the outcomes are not important, only their order. In other words, we will be ranking the outcomes.

Like the t-test, this analysis tests whether two independent groups have similar typical outcomes. You can use it with numeric data, but unlike the t-test, it also works with ordinal data. Like the t-test, it is designed for comparisons, and not for estimation or prediction.

The biggest difference from the t-test is that it does not compare means. The Mann-Whitney U test determines whether a random observation from one group tends to be higher (or lower) than a random observation from the other group. Imagine choosing two observations, one from each group, over and over again. This test will determine whether one group is more likely to have the higher values.

It has many advantages: It is a straightforward comparison of means. There are versions for similar and different variances in the two groups. Many people are familiar with it.

The Difference Between the Bernoulli and Binomial Distributions

February 8th, 2023 by

You might already be familiar with the binomial distribution. It describes the scenario where the result of an observation is binary—it can be one of two outcomes. You might label the outcomes as “success” and “failure” (or not!). (more…)