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Use of the Wilcoxon Statistic for a Generalized Behrens-Fisher Problem

Potthoff, Richard F.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Behrens-Fisher Problem, Hypothesis Testing, Statistical Analysis, Wilcoxon Matched Pairs Signed Ranks Test


The ordinary Wilcoxon test is used to test the null hypothesis that two populations are identical. This paper presents a technique for utilizing the Wilcoxon statistic to test a null hypothesis of a broader type, such as is encountered in the Behrens-Fisher problem, where it is required to test the equality of the means of two normal populations having (possibly) unequal variances. The discussion in this paper is on a rather technical level; for a less technical discussion, see Research Bulletin 62- 27.

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