Friedman test - overview

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Friedman test
Goodness of fit test
Independent/grouping variableIndependent variable
One within subject factor ($\geq 2$ related groups)None
Dependent variableDependent variable
One of ordinal levelOne categorical with $J$ independent groups ($J \geqslant 2$)
Null hypothesisNull hypothesis
H0: the population scores in any of the related groups are not systematically higher or lower than the population scores in any of the other related groups

Usually the related groups are the different measurement points. Several different formulations of the null hypothesis can be found in the literature, and we do not agree with all of them. Make sure you (also) learn the one that is given in your text book or by your teacher.
  • H0: the population proportions in each of the $J$ conditions are $\pi_1$, $\pi_2$, $\ldots$, $\pi_J$
or equivalently
  • H0: the probability of drawing an observation from condition 1 is $\pi_1$, the probability of drawing an observation from condition 2 is $\pi_2$, $\ldots$, the probability of drawing an observation from condition $J$ is $\pi_J$
Alternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesis
H1: the population scores in some of the related groups are systematically higher or lower than the population scores in other related groups
  • H1: the population proportions are not all as specified under the null hypothesis
or equivalently
  • H1: the probabilities of drawing an observation from each of the conditions are not all as specified under the null hypothesis
AssumptionsAssumptions
  • Sample of 'blocks' (usually the subjects) is a simple random sample from the population. That is, blocks are independent of one another
  • Sample size is large enough for $X^2$ to be approximately chi-squared distributed. Rule of thumb: all $J$ expected cell counts are 5 or more
  • Sample is a simple random sample from the population. That is, observations are independent of one another
Test statisticTest statistic
$Q = \dfrac{12}{N \times k(k + 1)} \sum R^2_i - 3 \times N(k + 1)$

Here $N$ is the number of 'blocks' (usually the subjects - so if you have 4 repeated measurements for 60 subjects, $N$ equals 60), $k$ is the number of related groups (usually the number of repeated measurements), and $R_i$ is the sum of ranks in group $i$.

Remember that multiplication precedes addition, so first compute $\frac{12}{N \times k(k + 1)} \times \sum R^2_i$ and then subtract $3 \times N(k + 1)$.

Note: if ties are present in the data, the formula for $Q$ is more complicated.
$X^2 = \sum{\frac{(\mbox{observed cell count} - \mbox{expected cell count})^2}{\mbox{expected cell count}}}$
where the expected cell count for one cell = $N \times \pi_j$, the observed cell count is the observed sample count in that same cell, and the sum is over all $J$ cells
Sampling distribution of $Q$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $X^2$ if H0 were true
If the number of blocks $N$ is large, approximately the chi-squared distribution with $k - 1$ degrees of freedom.

For small samples, the exact distribution of $Q$ should be used.
Approximately the chi-squared distribution with $J - 1$ degrees of freedom
Significant?Significant?
If the number of blocks $N$ is large, the table with critical $X^2$ values can be used. If we denote $X^2 = Q$:
  • Check if $X^2$ observed in sample is equal to or larger than critical value $X^{2*}$ or
  • Find $p$ value corresponding to observed $X^2$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
  • Check if $X^2$ observed in sample is equal to or larger than critical value $X^{2*}$ or
  • Find $p$ value corresponding to observed $X^2$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
Example contextExample context
Is there a difference in depression level between measurement point 1 (pre-intervention), measurement point 2 (1 week post-intervention), and measurement point 3 (6 weeks post-intervention)?Is the proportion of people with a low, moderate, and high social economic status in the population different from $\pi_{low}$ = .2, $\pi_{moderate}$ = .6, and $\pi_{high}$ = .2?
SPSSSPSS
Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > K Related Samples...
  • Put the $k$ variables containing the scores for the $k$ related groups in the white box below Test Variables
  • Under Test Type, select the Friedman test
Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > Chi-square...
  • Put your categorical variable in the box below Test Variable List
  • Fill in the population proportions / probabilities according to $H_0$ in the box below Expected Values. If $H_0$ states that they are all equal, just pick 'All categories equal' (default)
JamoviJamovi
ANOVA > Repeated Measures ANOVA - Friedman
  • Put the $k$ variables containing the scores for the $k$ related groups in the box below Measures
Frequencies > N Outcomes - $\chi^2$ Goodness of fit
  • Put your categorical variable in the box below Variable
  • Click on Expected Proportions and fill in the population proportions / probabilities according to $H_0$ in the boxes below Ratio. If $H_0$ states that they are all equal, you can leave the ratios equal to the default values (1)
Practice questionsPractice questions