IMPORTANT PARAMETRIC TESTS - Research Methodology

Importance of Parametric test in Research Methodology

The important parametric tests are:

  1. z-test;
  2. t-test;
  3. χ2-test, and
  4. F-test.

All these tests are based on the assumption of normality i.e., the source of data is considered to be normally distributed.
In some cases the population may not be normally distributed, yet the tests will be applicable on account of the fact that we mostly deal with samples and the sampling distributions closely approach normal distributions.

z-test is based on the normal probability distribution and is used for judging the significance of several statistical measures, particularly the mean. The relevant test statistic, z, is worked out and compared with its probable value (to be read from table showing area under normal curve) at a specified level of significance for judging the significance of the measure concerned. This is a most frequently used test in research studies. This test is used even when binomial distribution or t-distribution is applicable on the presumption that such a distribution tends to approximate normal distribution as ‘n’ becomes larger. z-test is generally used for comparing the mean of a sample to some hypothesised mean for the population in case of large sample, or when population variance is known. z-test is also used for judging he significance of difference between means of two independent samples in case of large samples, or when population variance is known. z-test is also used for comparing the sample proportion to a theoretical value of population proportion or for judging the difference in proportions of two independent samples when n happens to be large. Besides, this test may be used for judging the significance of median, mode, coefficient of correlation and several other measures. t-test is based on t-distribution and is considered an appropriate test for judging the significance of a sample mean or for judging the significance of difference between the means of two samples in case of small sample(s) when population variance is not known (in which case we use variance of the sample as an estimate of the population variance). In case two samples are related, we use paired t-test (or what is known as difference test) for judging the significance of the mean of difference between the two related samples. It can also be used for judging the significance of the coefficients of simple and partial correlations. The relevant test statistic, t, is calculated from the sample data and then compared with its probable value based on t-distribution (to be read from the table that gives probable values of t for different levels of significance for different degrees of freedom) at a specified level of significance for concerning degrees of freedom for accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis. It may be noted that t-test applies only in case of small sample(s) when population variance is unknown.

χ2-test is based on chi-square distribution and as a parametric test is used for comparing a sample variance to a theoretical population variance.
F-test is based on F-distribution and is used to compare the variance of the two-independent samples. This test is also used in the context of analysis of variance (ANOVA) for judging the significance of more than two sample means at one and the same time. It is also used for judging the significance of multiple correlation coefficients. Test statistic, F, is calculated and compared with its probable value (to be seen in the F-ratio tables for different degrees of freedom for greater and smaller variances at specified level of significance) for accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis.

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