Using baboon "mothering" behavior to teach Permutation tests

Presented by:

Thomas Moore, Grinnell College

02:00pm - 02:30pm Eastern Standard Time, September 14th, 2010


Permutation tests and randomization tests were introduced almost a century ago, well before inexpensive, high-speed computing made them feasible to use. Fisher and Pitman showed the two-sample t-test could approximate the permutation test in a two independent groups experiment. Today many statistics educators are returning to the permutation test as a more intuitive way to teach hypothesis testing. In this presentation, I will show an interesting teaching example about primate behavior that illustrates how simple permutation tests are to use, even with a messier data set that admits of no obvious and easy-to-compute approximation.