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Homework Help: Biology trouble

  1. Oct 12, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Ok the main problem is that I don't really understand in which biology-related scenarios I'm suppossed to use the student's t-test or the Chi-square test (we are using these tests in my biology class)?

    How do you know which test to use to analyze the following data and why?

    1) the number of caterpillars found foraging on two different plant species

    2)The body weight of fish in low vs high nutrient habitats

    3)the height of plants which receive two different fertilizer treatments

    2. Relevant equations and the attempt at a solution

    I know the definition of these two tests

    the students t-test is defined as a statistical test that compares the means of two samples and assesses wheter or not they differ enough to represent samples from different populations

    the chi-square test is defined as a test that is used to test a hypothesis in an experiment in which the data are frequency data, rather than continuous data.

    but I cannot make sense of these definitions. When I'm given questions regarding to identifying the type of test I would use to analyze some data I don't know which test to use.

    I attempted to answer the 3 questions by thinking of them this way, use students t-test when data is continous (and data is continuous when we talk about height, weight ) and use the Chi-square test when data is discrete (such as the number between two particular species).

    but I'm not too confident with this, please explain on how you would do this

  2. jcsd
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