Category Archives: statistics

Choosing a Statistical Test


The number and type of possible statistical tests in experimental science can be bewildering. Luckily choosing the right test can be made alot easier by first considering the question: Is your data categorical or continuous? Categorical data is typically percentage or frequency data binned into 2 or more categories or names. Continuous data is typically measurement data where there is a well defined relationship between the values (i.e. numerical data)1,2

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Understanding and Comparing Error Bars


Often, when I look at error bars in figures I am rather confused: “Overlap = bad and no-overlap = good, right?” If this is true, what is the difference between standard deviation bars, standard error bars, and 95% confidence intervals?   Chad recently found a great paper that does a great job answering this question (at least for us).1 Below we try to summarize some of the major points along with a few from other sources.1-3

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