Title

Unconditional Tests for Association in 2 by 2 Contingency Tables in the Total Sum Fixed Design

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The asymptotic approach and Fisher's exact approach have often been used for testing the association between two dichotomous variables. The asymptotic approach may be appropriate to use in large samples but is often criticized for being associated with unacceptable high actual type I error rates for small to medium sample sizes. Fisher's exact approach suffers from conservative type I error rates and low power. For these reasons, a number of exact unconditional approaches have been proposed, which have been seen to be generally more powerful than exact conditional counterparts. We consider the traditional unconditional approach based on maximization and compare it to our presented approach, which is based on estimation and maximization. We extend the unconditional approach based on estimation and maximization to designs with the total sum fixed. The procedures based on the Pearson chi-square, Yates's corrected, and likelihood ratio test statistics are evaluated with regard to actual type I error rates and powers. A real example is used to illustrate the various testing procedures. The unconditional approach based on estimation and maximization performs well, having an actual level much closer to the nominal level. The Pearson chi-square and likelihood ratio test statistics work well with this efficient unconditional approach. This approach is generally more powerful than the other p-value calculation methods in the scenarios considered.