Statnote 7: chi-square contingency tables


When the data are counts or the frequencies of particular events and can be expressed as a contingency table, then they can be analysed using the chi-square distribution. When applied to a 2 x 2 table, the test is approximate and care needs to be taken in analysing tables when the expected frequencies are small either by applying Yate’s correction or by using Fisher’s exact test. Larger contingency tables can also be analysed using this method. Note that it is a serious statistical error to use any of these tests on measurement data!



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