A Nonparametric Test For Homogeneity Of Variances: Application To GPAs Of Students Across Academic Majors

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Saad T. Bakir


ANOM, ANOMR, Distribution-free, Multi-sample scale-problem


We propose a nonparametric (or distribution-free) procedure for testing the equality of several population variances (or scale parameters). The proposed test is a modification of Bakir’s (1989, Commun. Statist., Simul-Comp., 18, 757-775) analysis of means by ranks (ANOMR) procedure for testing the equality of several population means. A proof is given to establish the distribution-free property of the modified procedure. The proposed procedure is then applied to test whether or not the variability in the grade point averages (GPAs) of students differs across five business academic majors. We collect the GPAs (observations) of a random sample of students from each major under study. The absolute deviations of the observations from the overall median of the combined sample are then calculated and ranked from least to largest. The average ranks and two decision lines are then plotted on a graph paper to detect not only the existence of significant differences among variances, but also to pinpoint which variances are causing those differences.


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