We have already seen that male students had a significantly bigger mean head circumference than female students (Week 4 Exercise: Head circumference) and also that, for females, head circumference and height were related (Week 7 Exercise: Head circumference and height). Could it be that the difference in head circumference between the sexes is explained by the difference in height?
The following graph shows a plot of head circumference against height for males and females:
1. What method could we use to answer the question: is the difference in head circumference between the sexes explained by the difference in height?
Check suggested answer 1.
The regression equation is
Head (mm) = 396 + 0.0957 × height (mm) + 6.80 × sex
where sex = 1 for a female, 2 for a male.
2. What does 6.80 tell us?
Check suggested answer 2.
We can add confidence intervals and P values for the coefficients in this equation:
Head (mm) = 396
+ 0.0957 × height (mm) + 6.80 × sex
95% CI 334 to 459 0.0555 to 0.1360 -1.1 to 14.6
P<0.001 P<0.001 P=0.09
3. What can we conclude from this analysis?
Check suggested answer 3.
4. What assumptions about the sample and distributions are needed for this analysis and what could we do to check them?
Check suggested answer 4.
Continue with exercise.
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