Statnote 1: is the data normal?

Anthony Hilton, Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperArticle


Testing whether an observed distribution of observations deviates from normality is a common type of statistical test available in statistics software. Most software offer two ways of judging whether there are significant deviations of the observed from the expected distributions, viz., chi-square and the KS test. These tests have different sensitivities and problems and often give conflicting results. The results of these tests together with observations of the shape of the observed distribution should be used to judge normality.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Specialist publicationMicrobiologist
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • observed distribution
  • observations
  • normality
  • statistical test
  • statistics software
  • significant deviations


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