The Akaike information criterion (AIC) is a mathematical method for evaluating how well a model fits the data it was generated from. In statistics, AIC is used to compare different possible models and determine which one is the best fit for the data. AIC is calculated from:

the number of independent variables used to build the model.

the maximum likelihood estimate of the model (how well the model reproduces the data).

The best-fit model according to AIC is the one that explains the greatest amount of variation using the fewest possible independent variables.

Date published March 20, 2020 by Rebecca Bevans. Date updated: May 20, 2020

ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) is a statistical test used to analyze the difference between the means of more than two groups.

A two-way ANOVA is used to estimate how the mean of a quantitative variable changes according to the levels of two categorical variables. Use a two-way ANOVA when you want to know how two independent variables, in combination, affect a dependent variable.

Date published March 6, 2020 by Rebecca Bevans. Date updated: April 2, 2020

ANOVA is a statistical test for estimating how a quantitative dependent variable changes according to the levels of one or more categorical independent variables. ANOVA tests whether there is a difference in means of the groups at each level of the independent variable.

The null hypothesis (H_{0}) of the ANOVA is no difference in means, and the alternate hypothesis (H_{a}) is that the means are different from one another.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of a one-way ANOVA (one independent variable) and a two-way ANOVA (two independent variables).

Our sample dataset contains observations from an imaginary study of the effects of fertilizer type and planting density on crop yield.

We will also include examples of how to perform and interpret a two-way ANOVA with an interaction term, and an ANOVA with a blocking variable.

Linear regression is a regression model that uses a straight line to describe the relationship between variables. It finds the line of best fit through your data by searching for the value of the regression coefficient(s) that minimizes the total error of the model.

Date published February 20, 2020 by Rebecca Bevans. Date updated: May 20, 2020

Regression models are used to describe relationships between variables by fitting a line to the observed data. Regression allows you to estimate how a dependent variable changes as the independent variable(s) change.

Multiple linear regression is used to estimate the relationship between two or more independent variables and one dependent variable. You can use multiple linear regression when you want to know:

How strong the relationship is between two or more independent variables and one dependent variable (e.g. how rainfall, temperature, and amount of fertilizer added affect crop growth).

The value of the dependent variable at a certain value of the independent variables (e.g. the expected yield of a crop at certain levels of rainfall, temperature, and fertilizer addition).

Regression models describe the relationship between variables by fitting a line to the observed data. Linear regression models use a straight line, while logistic and nonlinear regression models use a curved line. Regression allows you to estimate how a dependent variable changes as the independent variable(s) change.

Simple linear regression is used to estimate the relationship between two quantitative variables. You can use simple linear regression when you want to know:

How strong the relationship is between two variables (e.g. the relationship between rainfall and soil erosion).

The value of the dependent variable at a certain value of the independent variable (e.g. the amount of soil erosion at a certain level of rainfall).

Date published January 31, 2020 by Rebecca Bevans. Date updated: March 6, 2020

A t-test is a statistical test that is used to compare the means of two groups. It is often used in hypothesis testing to determine whether a process or treatment actually has an effect on the population of interest, or whether two groups are different from one another.

You want to know whether the mean petal length of iris flowers differs according to their species. You find two different species of irises growing in a garden and measure 25 petals of each species. You can test the difference between these two groups using a t-test.

The null hypothesis (H_{0}) is that the true difference between these group means is zero.

The alternate hypothesis (H_{a}) is that the true difference is different from zero.

determine whether a predictor variable has a statistically significant relationship with an outcome variable.

estimate the difference between two or more groups.

Statistical tests assume a null hypothesis of no relationship or no difference between groups. Then they determine whether the observed data fall outside of the range of values predicted by the null hypothesis.

If you already know what types of variables you’re dealing with, you can use the flowchart to choose the right statistical test for your data.