• Journal Article

Evaluating group distributional characteristics: Why psychophysiologists should be interested in qualitative departures from the normal distribution

Citation

Riniolo, T. C., & Porges, S. (2000). Evaluating group distributional characteristics: Why psychophysiologists should be interested in qualitative departures from the normal distribution. Psychophysiology, 37(1), 21-28. DOI: 10.1017/S0048577200980065

Abstract

Real data often do not approximate the nonnormal distribution. Under nonnormal conditions, pychophysiologists who use parametric statistics may be testing with inadequate power and/or testing a measure of location (i.e., the mean) that does not represent the desired portion of the distribution for statistical comparison. The purpose of this paper is: first, to provide psychophysiologists with a method to investigate group distributional characteristics; second, to evaluate the distributional characteristics of heart period and respiratory sinus arrhythmia in human adults and newborns, third, to demonstrate the increased statistical power that can accompany the selection of an alternative statistical analysis for nonnormal data. Suggestions are provided on how to analyze nonnormal data