On statistical methods for comparison of intrasample morphometric variability: Zalavar revisited

Mauricio L. Moraga, Paola Rocco, Juan F. Miquel, Flavio Nervi, Elena Llop, Ranajit Chakraborty, Francisco Rothhammer, Pilar Carvallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In studies of morphology, methods for comparing amounts of variability are often important. Three different ways of utilizing determinants of covariance matrices for testing for surplus variability in a hypothesis sample compared to a reference sample are presented: an F-test based on standardized generalized variances, a parametric bootstrap based on draws on Wishart matrices, and a nonparametric bootstrap. The F-test based on standardized generalized variances and the Wishart-based bootstrap are applicable when multivariate normality can be assumed. These methods can be applied with only summary data available. However, the nonparametric bootstrap can be applied with multivariate nonnormally distributed data as well as multivariate normally distributed data, and small sample sizes. Therefore, this method is preferable when raw data are available. Three craniometric samples are used to present the methods. A Hungarian Zalavar sample and an Austrian Berg sample are compared to a Norwegian Oslo sample, the latter employed as reference sample. In agreement with a previous study, it is shown that the Zalavar sample does not represent surplus variability, whereas the Berg sample does represent such a surplus variability. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Generalized variance
  • Multivariate variability
  • Parametric and nonparametric bootstrap
  • Zalavar


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