Concept

# Pearson's chi-squared test

Summary
Pearson's chi-squared test () is a statistical test applied to sets of categorical data to evaluate how likely it is that any observed difference between the sets arose by chance. It is the most widely used of many chi-squared tests (e.g., Yates, likelihood ratio, portmanteau test in time series, etc.) – statistical procedures whose results are evaluated by reference to the chi-squared distribution. Its properties were first investigated by Karl Pearson in 1900. In contexts where it is important to improve a distinction between the test statistic and its distribution, names similar to Pearson χ-squared test or statistic are used. It tests a null hypothesis stating that the frequency distribution of certain events observed in a sample is consistent with a particular theoretical distribution. The events considered must be mutually exclusive and have total probability 1. A common case for this is where the events each cover an outcome of a categorical variable. A simple example is the hypothesis that an ordinary six-sided is "fair" (i. e., all six outcomes are equally likely to occur.) Pearson's chi-squared test is used to assess three types of comparison: goodness of fit, homogeneity, and independence. A test of goodness of fit establishes whether an observed frequency distribution differs from a theoretical distribution. A test of homogeneity compares the distribution of counts for two or more groups using the same categorical variable (e.g. choice of activity—college, military, employment, travel—of graduates of a high school reported a year after graduation, sorted by graduation year, to see if number of graduates choosing a given activity has changed from class to class, or from decade to decade). A test of independence assesses whether observations consisting of measures on two variables, expressed in a contingency table, are independent of each other (e.g. polling responses from people of different nationalities to see if one's nationality is related to the response).