AN IMPROVED TEST OF LINEARITY IN DOMINANCE HIERARCHIES CONTAINING UNKNOWN OR TIED RELATIONSHIPS

Han de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Appleby (1983, Anim. Behav., 31, 600-608) described a statistical test, based on the work of Kendall (1962, Rank Correlation Methods), for the significance of linearity in dominance hierarchies. He suggested that unknown relationships should be assigned the value 1/2 and that subsequently the same test procedure can be used. In this paper it is shown that incorrect results are obtained by this method whenever there are unknown relationships. Values of the linearity index are systematically too low. P-values can be too high (underestimating the significance) or too low (overestimating), and seem to differ by not much more than a factor two (respectively a half) from the correct P-value. An improved method is developed for testing linearity in a set of dominance relationships containing unknown relationships. Furthermore, it is argued that, if one admits the possibility of tied dominance relationships, which should indeed be assigned the value 1/2, Landau's linearity index is to be preferred to Kendall's index. A randomization test is developed for assessing the significance of linearity or non-linearity in a set of dominance relationships containing unknown or tied relationships. The test statistic employed in this testing procedure is based on Landau's linearity index, but takes the unknown and tied relationships into account. (C) 1995 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1375-1389
Number of pages15
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume50
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995

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