distribution-free test

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In inferential statistics, any significance test that makes no assumptions about the precise distribution or form of the sampled population. Although the term distribution-free is often used interchangeably with non-parametric, strictly speaking it is possible for a test to be distribution-free without being non-parametric; for example the sign test makes no assumptions about the distribution of the sampled population but tests the hypothesis that a certain parameter of the binomial distribution (the proportion of successes) is 1/2, so it is not really non-parametric. See also non-parametric statistics, probability distribution.

Subjects: Psychology.

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