Download e-book for kindle: Asking Questions in Biology: A Guide to Hypothesis Testing, by Chris Barnard, Francis Gilbert, Peter Mcgregor

By Chris Barnard, Francis Gilbert, Peter Mcgregor

ISBN-10: 0132224356

ISBN-13: 9780132224352

The total advisor to sensible paintings within the organic sciences: from perception of the research, via info assortment, info research and at last presentation.

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Additional info for Asking Questions in Biology: A Guide to Hypothesis Testing, Experimental Design and Presentation in Practical Work and Research Projects (3rd Edition)

Sample text

In Fig. 8a the distribution is more or less symmetrical with a peak close to the centre. Formally the peak is referred to as the mode and, in symmetrical, unimodal distributions like Fig. 8 Histogram frequency distributions of: (a) the length of the right forelimb of field cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus) nymphs, (b) the number of aggressive encounters per day between male mice (Mus musculus) in an enclosure and (c) the duration of the aggressive displays of male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) in pairwise encounters.

A large total could be due to a single large result, with all the rest actually being smaller than the results contributing to the other, lesser, totals, in which case our interest in the apparent differences between the bars in the figures might diminish somewhat. Second, variability in the data might obscure some potentially interesting tendencies in scattergrams. What we need, therefore, is a way of summarising data so that: (a) the interesting features are still made clear, but (b) the all-important variability is also presented, though in a way that clarifies rather than obscures patterns in the data.

5 error) above and below the mean. 5a, b shows such a plot for the two sets of example locust data. Medians and confidence limits An alternative summary statistic we could have used is the median. 1 – unless sample sizes are very low). The use of standard deviations in particular makes important assumptions about the distribution of the data from which they are calculated that may not hold in many cases. Using medians and confidence limits avoids these assumptions. Later, we shall see that statistical tests of significance can also avoid them.

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Asking Questions in Biology: A Guide to Hypothesis Testing, Experimental Design and Presentation in Practical Work and Research Projects (3rd Edition) by Chris Barnard, Francis Gilbert, Peter Mcgregor


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