Member Training: Equivalence Tests and Non-Inferiority

April 2nd, 2018 by
Statistics is, to a large extent, a science of comparison. You are trying to test whether one group is bigger, faster, or smarter than another.
You do this by setting up a null hypothesis that your two groups have equal means or proportions and an alternative hypothesis that one group is “better” than the other. The test has interesting results only when the data you collect ends up rejecting the null hypothesis.
But there are times when the interesting research question you’re asking is not about whether one group is better than the other, but whether the two groups are equivalent.


When Assumptions of ANCOVA are Irrelevant

October 15th, 2012 by

Every once in a while, I work with a client who is stuck between a particular statistical rock and hard place.

It happens when they’re trying to run an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) model because they have a categorical independent variable and a continuous covariate.

The problem arises when a coauthor, committee member, or reviewer insists that ANCOVA is inappropriate in this situation because one of the following ANCOVA assumptions are not met:

1. The independent variable and the covariate are independent of each other.

2. There is no interaction between independent variable and the covariate.

If you look them up in any design of experiments textbook, which is usually where you’ll find information about ANOVA and ANCOVA, you will indeed find these assumptions.  So the critic has nice references.

However, this is a case where it’s important to stop and think about whether the assumptions apply to your situation, and how dealing with the assumption will affect the analysis and the conclusions you can draw. (more…)