Skip to main content

Bonferroni Correction

  • Reference work entry


In Multiple Hypothesis Testing, the Bonferroni correction is a conservative method for probability thresholding to control the occurrence of false positives.

When deciding whether to accept or reject an individual null hypothesis, a probability threshold, α, is utilized to control the likelihood of false positives. In multiple hypothesis testing, an increased number of samples, n, in a given family increases the probability that false positives will arise within that family at the same probability threshold, α. Thus, the threshold, α, should be lowered to control the total number of false positives.

The Bonferroni correction controls the number of false positives arising in each family by using a probability threshold of α/nfor each observation within the family. By guaranteeing that the probability of a test being accepted within a family is the same as or less than the probability of any individual test being accepted, the Bonferroni correction is extremely conservative....

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   899.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD   549.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


  • Abdi H (2007) The Bonferroni and Sidak corrections for multiple comparisons. In: Salkind NJ (ed) Encyclopedia of measurement and statistics. Sage, Thousand Oaks

    Google Scholar 

  • Bonferroni CE (1936) Teoria statistica delle classi e calcolo delle probabilit `a. Pubblicazioni del R Istituto Superiore di Scienze Economiche e Commerciali di Firenze 8:3–62

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Winston Haynes .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

About this entry

Cite this entry

Haynes, W. (2013). Bonferroni Correction. In: Dubitzky, W., Wolkenhauer, O., Cho, KH., Yokota, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Systems Biology. Springer, New York, NY.

Download citation