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# Mann-Whitney test

Explanations > Social ResearchAnalysis > Mann-Whitney test

## Description

The Mann-Whitney test compares the medians of two groups of ordinal, non-parametric data to determine if they are statistically different.

The Mann-Whitney test statistic is called U, which is calculated as follows:

1. Put all the scores together (keeping note of their group identities) into rank order
2. Calculate U as the sum of the numbers of scores from the experimental group that are less than each of the control group scores (or the other way round, whichever gives the smaller value of U.

## Discussion

The Mann-Whitney test can be thought of as the non-parametric equivalent of the independent-measures t-test.

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