Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 755–766 | Cite as

Sample size planning for the coefficient of variation from the accuracy in parameter estimation approach

  • Ken KelleyEmail author


The accuracy in parameter estimation approach to sample size planning is developed for the coefficient of variation, where the goal of the method is to obtain an accurate parameter estimate by achieving a sufficiently narrow confidence interval. The first method allows researchers to plan sample size so that the expected width of the confidence interval for the population coefficient of variation is sufficiently narrow. A modification allows a desired degree of assurance to be incorporated into the method, so that the obtained confidence interval will be sufficiently narrow with some specified probability (e.g., 85% assurance that the 95% confidence interval width will be no wider than ω units). Tables of necessary sample size are provided for a variety of scenarios that may help researchers planning a study where the coefficient of variation is of interest plan an appropriate sample size in order to have a sufficiently narrow confidence interval, optionally with some specified assurance of the confidence interval being sufficiently narrow. Freely available computer routines have been developed that allow researchers to easily implement all of the methods discussed in the article.


Confidence Interval Width Dence Interval Lower Confidence Limit Noncentrality Parameter Narrow Confidence Interval 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Inquiry Methodology ProgramIndiana UniversityBloomington

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