Category Archives: statistics

Choosing a Statistical Test

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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

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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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