ASQ - Statistics Division

Using the Fisher’s Exact Test to Determine Differences in Response Patterns

Abstract: A statistical methodology that does not receive as much attention, but is useful in analyzing Likert scale! questions is the Fishers exact test. The Fisher’s exact test differs from the Kruskall-Wallis and Wilcoxon tests since it does not address rank data. The chi-squared test is an approximation of the Fisher’s exact test. The Fisher’s exact test is more appropriate than the chi-squared test of independence when the sample frequencies are low in categorical data. The Fisher’s exact test is an exact test that is not based on parametric assumptions where the chi-squared test is an approximation.

Keywords: Fisher’s exact test - Likert scale - survey data - Chi-squared test

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