# Probability and statistical hypothesis testing. Holger Diessel

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1 Probability and statistical hypothesis testing Holger Diessel

2 Probability Two reasons why probability is important for the analysis of linguistic data: Joint and conditional probabilities are used to analyze corpus data Probability plays an important role in statistical hypothesis testing Simple probability: If you toss a dice with six number (i.e. 1,2,3,4,5,6) what is the probability that you will toss a 6? P(6) = 1/6 =

3 Probability Probability values range from 0 to 1. Adding all probabilities of the sample yields 1. If two events are independent, the probability is the sum of their individual probabilities. Two events A and B are independent if knowing that the occurrence of A does not change the probability of the occurrence of B.

4 The law of large numbers When an experiment is conducted many times, the relative frequency (empirical probability) of an event can be expected to be close to the theoretical probability of the event. This approximation will improve as the number of replications is increased.

5 Joint probability P(A,B) = P(A) P(B) P(5,6) = (0.166) (0.166) =

6 Conditional probability P(A B ) = P(A B) P(B)

7 Conditional probability In a corpus including nouns and adjectives, adjectives precede a noun. (1) What is the likelihood that a noun occurs after an adjective? (2) What is the likelihood that an adjective precedes a noun?

9 Statistical hypothesis testing Population Sample A researcher has collected 56 relative clauses from a corpus. 27 relative clauses are attached to an animate head noun, 29 relative clauses are attached to an inanimate head noun. 33 relative clauses are subject relatives, 23 relative clauses are object relatives: (1) Der Mann, der dich gesehen hat. 21 (2) Der Mann, den du gesehen hast. 6 (3) Der Film, der dir gefallen hat. 12 (4) Der Film, den du gesehen hast. 17

10 Statistical hypothesis testing Animate head Inanimate head Subject Object 6 17 Null hypothesis: There is no relationship between the animacy of the head and the syntactic role of the relative pronoun. Alternative hypothesis: There is a relationship between the animacy of the head and the syntactic role of the relative pronoun.

11 Probability distribution What is the probability that you get two heads if you toss a coin twice? 0 heads = HH 25% 1 head = HT + TH 50% 2 heads = TT 25% H T HH HT TH TT

12 Probability distribution HH HT TH TT Sample space Random variable

13 Probability distribution Cumulative outcome 0 = 1 1 = 2 2 = 1

14 Probability distribution Cumulative outcome Probability 0 = = = Σ P(x) = 1

15 Binomial distribution Bernoulli trail: two possible outcomes on each trail the outcomes are independent of each other the probability ratio is constant across trails

16 Binomial distribution The binomial distribution has the following properties: It is based on categorical / nominal data. There are exactly two outcomes for each trail. All trials are independent. The probability of the outcomes is the same for each trail. A sequence of Bernoulli trails gives us the binomial distribution.

17 Binomial distribution A coin is tossed three times. What is the probability of obtaining two heads?

18 H T HH HT TH TT HHH HHT HTH HTT THH THT TTH TTT

19 Binomial distribution Sample space: Random variables: HHH HHT HTH THH 0 Head 1 Head 2 Heads 3 Heads TTT TTH THT HTT 0 head: 1 1 head: 3 2 heads: 3 3 heads: 1 / 8 = / 8 = / 8 = / 8 = 0.125

21 Binomial distribution

22 Binomial distribution Example: Tossing a coin one 100 times, yielded 42 heads and 58 tails. Is this a fair coin? Heads: 42 Tails: 58 Expected: 50% - 50% Sample error?

23 Normal distribution

24 Normal distribution The center of the curve represents the mean, median, and mode. The curve is symmetrical around the mean. The tails meet the x-axis in infinity. The curve is bell-shaped. The total under the curve is equal to 1 (by definition).

25 Normal distribution A child language researcher wants to find out if there is a difference in the MLUs of English-speaking boys and girls. In order to answer this question, she collects a sample of utterances from 30 three-year-old boys and 30 three-year-old girls. The sample of utterances from the boys has an MLU of 2.8 words, while the sample of utterances from the girls has an MLU of 3.3 words. The sample means are different, but are they different enough to conclude that boys and girls produce utterances with different MLUs in the true population? To answer this question, we need a probability model. To find the right model, we need to inspect the data. There are two important aspects: The mean of utterance length is interval data The data of both groups is centered around a mean

26 Normal distribution Boys MLU Girls MLU

27 Normal distribution Boys 2.8 Girls 2.8

28 p-value The p-value indicates the probability that we will obtain the distribution in our sample given that there is no relationship between x and y in the true population. The p-value is conditional on the hypothesis that the null hypothesis is true. If there is no relationship (difference) between X and Y in the true population, then there is a less than a 5% chance (i.e. 1 out of 20 chance) that we obtain the distribution in a given sample.

29 p-value What does the p-value indicate? The probability of the null hypothesis to be true is 5%. The probability of the alternative hypothesis to be true is 95%. Given that the null hypothesis is true, there is a 5% chance of obtaining the distribution in a particular sample. false false true The probability of the experimental hypothesis is not measured at all!

30 Type 1 and type 2 error Eine wahre Nullhypothese wird durch die Stichprobe bekräftigt. (p größer als.05 + es gibt keinen Zusammenhang zwischen x und y -> correct) Eine wahre Nullhypothese wird durch die Stichprobe fälschlicherweise entkräftet. (p ist kleiner als.05 obwohl es keinen Zusammenhang zwischen x und y gibt -> false) Eine falsche Nullhypothese wird durch die Stichprobe als falsch gekennzeichnet. (p größer als.05, es gibt aber einen Zusammenhang zwischen x und y -> correct) Eine falsche Nullhypothese wird durch die Stichprobe fälschlicherweise bestätigt. (p kleiner als.05 obwohl es gibt keinen Zusammenhang zwischen x und y -> false)

31 Type 1 and type 2 error Two potential errors: Type 1 error: we reject a true null hypothesis Type 2 error: We accept a false null hypothsis p smaller than.05 p larger than.05 False null hypothesis Correct Type 2 error True null hypothesis Type 1 error Correct The p-value indicates the probability of making a type 1 error. It does not say anything about making a type 2 error!

32 Other statistical measures Until recently the p-value was taken as a holy cut-off point; but the value.05 is of course arbitrary. Therefore, researchers now consider the p-value in conjunction with other statistical measures: p-value confidence intervals effect size Confidence intervals indicate the range within which the mean (or some other statistical measure) must lie, assuming a particular degree of certainty (e.g. 95%) in the true population. The effect size indicates the degree to which difference in the dependent variable are due to changes in the independent variable.

33 One-sided and two-sided tests A researcher wants to find out if sex influences language development during childhood. He collected MLU values from a group of 3 year-old boys and 3 year-old girls. Hypotheses: Sex does not influence development (i.e. MLU) Sex influences development (i.e. MLU) Girls have a higher MLU Boys have a higher MLU

34 One-sided and two-sided tests There is a difference between boys and girls Boys have samller MLUs than girls (or vice versa)

35 Sex Weight Height Male Male Male Male Male Male Male Male Male Male Male Female Female Female Female Female Female Female Female Female Female

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