Why Do We Use Nonparametric Tests?

Why do we use nonparametric tests? Describe a psychological research situation or scenario that would use a non-parametric test. Why would the non-parametric test be used?

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I thought it was rather peculiar as we were learning about hypothesis testing that the assumption of a normal distribution was always there. I know that the text has said repeatedly that normal distributions are, for lack of a better word, the norm when dealing with statistics. I am glad to learn that modern statistics has come up with a way to handle non-normal distribution. I am sure that they do show up from time to time. It appears that nonparametric tests are most widely used in situations where data has a ranking rather than a numerical ratio-scale. Because of the wide range of uses for the nonparametric test they are considered more robust than parametric tests, which depend largely on preset limits (i.e. normal distributions). 

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References

Aron, A., Aron, E., & Coups, E. (2006). Statistics for psychology (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.

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