# Chi-Square Test for Independence

## To test whether two categorical variables are independent

Yao Yao on June 9, 2015

• Chi: [kaɪ]

## What is a chi-square test

A chi-square test is also referred to as $\chi^2$ test ($\chi$ 这个符号在 latex 里就是 \chi).

The test is applied when you have two categorical variables from a single population. It is used to determine whether these two categorical variables are independent.

## Digress: What is a categorical variable?

Variables can be classified as categorical (aka, qualitative) or quantitative (aka, numerical).

• Categorical variables take on values that are names or labels. E.g.
• the color of a ball (red, green, blue, etc.)
• the breed of a dog (collie, shepherd, terrier, etc.)
• Quantitative variables represent a measurable quantity. E.g.
• the population of a city

## When to Use Chi-Square Test for Independence

The test procedure is appropriate when the following conditions are met:

• The sampling method is simple random sampling.
• The variables under study are each categorical.
• If sample data are displayed in a contingency table, the expected frequency count for each cell of the table is at least 5.

## State the Hypotheses

Given variable $A$ (which has $r$ levels), and variable $B$ (which has $c$ levels),

• $H_0$: variable $A$ and variable $B$ are independent.
• $H_a$: variable $A$ and variable $B$ are not independent.

## Analyze Sample Data

• Degrees of freedom: $DF = (r - 1) * (c - 1)$
• Expected frequencies: $E_{r,c} = (n_r * n_c) / n$
• $E_{r,c}$ is the expected frequency count for level $r$ of variable $A$ and level $c$ of variable $B$
• $n_r$ is the total number of sample observations at level $r$ of variable $A$
• $n_c$ is the total number of sample observations at level $c$ of variable $B$
• $n$ is the total sample size
• Test statistic: $\chi^2 = \sum{\left [ \frac{(O_{r,c} - E_{r,c})^2}{E_{r,c}} \right ]}$
• $O_{r,c}$ is the observed frequency count for level $r$ of variable $A$ and level $c$ of variable $B$
• p-value: 计算时需要 $DF$ 和 $\chi^2$ 两个值，可以使用 Chi-Square Calculator: Online Statistical Table

## Example Question: Is there a gender gap? Do the men’s voting preferences differ significantly from the women’s preferences?

• $H_0$: “Gender” and “Voting Preference” are independent.
• $H_a$: “Gender” and “Voting Preference” are not independent.

Since the p-value (0.0003) is less than the significance level (0.05), we cannot accept the null hypothesis. Thus, we conclude that there is a relationship between gender and voting preference.