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F-test of equality of variances

edited May 2016 in JASP & BayesFactor

Hi all,

I was wondering if there was a way to conduct a Bayesian F-test of equality of variances - I have two groups and I want to show that their variances are equal (H0 is true).

Is there a way to do this with JASP? or R? or any other way (I have a calculator and I'm not afraid to use it!)?




  • EJEJ
    edited 7:56AM

    Hi M,

    This is on our to-do list. A recent paper on the topic is here:

    I'm not sure whether there is R code, but I expect there is.


    edited 7:56AM

    Thanks EJ!

  • Hi all,

    I was wandering the same thing as MSB, and the link E.J. gave is dead now.

    I am looking for a Bayesian way to compare hypotheses of equal and unequal variances in two groups in the same way as it is usually done with means (with calculating BF). Does anyone know how to do this in R or in any other software?

    Thanks for your help,


  • If you have two strategy might be to take the F value from the Levene's test...square root it to turn it into a t value...and then use the "summary stats" feature within JASP.

    Thanked by 1Izymil
  • Maybe that is a good approximation (in some circumstances...haven't checked it out) but it's not the real thing (i.e., computing a ratio of marginal likelihoods), and we need the real thing to check whether and under what circumstances the approximation is good.


    Thanked by 1Izymil
  • @EJ - Does it mean, that I need something more than it is currently availabe in JASP? Any chances you might have a clue, where can search for this "real thing"?

  • :-) The real thing is a direct comparison of variances. We have something really cool under development here (there will be a blog post and a preprint once it's done), but there is also recent work in the Tilburg lab of Joris Mulder. This is not in JASP (yet) but will give you an idea, and perhaps they have R code.


  • I suppose my thinking was as follows

    If we take the levenes test in the frequentist appears that it is essentially a one-way ANOVA across each groups deviation from the mean

    Example 1:

    3 separate groups

    if we run a one-way anova on this and click levenes test

    we get the following for the one-way ANOVA

    F = 2.608, p =0.114

    for the levenes test we get

    F=1.367, p = 0.2916

    now if we want to run the levenes ourselves...we look at each group and take each value minus the mean of each group

    Group 0: 6.4

    Group 1: 4.2

    Group 2: 7.0

    when we take each value minus the mean, we get the following

    now we would turn each negative to a positive

    now if we run a one way anova with "all values made +" as the dependent variable and "group" as indepdendent variable, we get the following

    F= 1.367, p =0.2916

    this is the same result as the original levenes test

    if we ran it through Bayes, we get the following

    BF10: 0.635

  • jploenneke Yes. Another way to put it is: Levene's test is just a oneway ANOVA on dispersion scores (absolute deviations from the group mean) that indirectly tests the equality of variance in the un-transformed scores. So a Bayesian one-factor ANOVA on dispersion scores is equivalent to a Bayesian Levene's test.

    Richard Anderson

  • Hmm this is interesting, I'll pass this on.



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