It is increasingly common for experiments in biology and medicine to involve large numbers of hypothesis tests. A natural graphical method for visualizing these tests is to construct a histogram from the p-values of these tests. In this article, we examine the shapes, both regular and irregular, that these histograms can take on, as well as present simple inferential procedures that help to interpret the shapes in terms of diagnosing potential problems with the experiment. We examine potential causes of these problems in detail, and discuss potential remedies. Throughout, examples of irregular-looking p-value histograms are provided and based on case studies involving real biological experiments.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Breheny, Patrick; Stromberg, Arnold; and Lambert, Joshua, "p-Value Histograms: Inference and Diagnostics" (2018). Statistics Faculty Publications. 24.