# Testing the normality assumption for repeated measures anova? (in R)

So assuming that there is a point in testing the normality assumption for anova (see 1 and 2)

How can it be tested in R?

I would expect to do something like:

## From Venables and Ripley (2002) p.165.
utils::data(npk, package="MASS")
npk.aovE <- aov(yield ~  N*P*K + Error(block), npk)
residuals(npk.aovE)
qqnorm(residuals(npk.aov))


Which doesn't work, since "residuals" don't have a method (nor predict, for that matter) for the case of repeated measures anova.

So what should be done in this case?

Can the residuals simply be extracted from the same fit model without the Error term? I am not familiar enough with the literature to know if this is valid or not, thanks in advance for any suggestion.

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You may not get a simple response to residuals(npk.aovE) but that does not mean there are no residuals in that object. Do str and see that within the levels there are still residuals. I would imagine you were most interested in the "Within" level

> residuals(npk.aovE$Within) 7 8 9 10 11 12 4.68058815 2.84725482 1.56432584 -5.46900749 -1.16900749 -3.90234083 13 14 15 16 17 18 5.08903669 1.28903669 0.35570336 -3.27762998 -4.19422371 1.80577629 19 20 21 22 23 24 -3.12755705 0.03910962 2.60396981 1.13730314 2.77063648 4.63730314  My own training and practice has not been to use normality testing, instead to use QQ plots and parallel testing with robust methods. -  Thank you Dwin. I wonder which of the different residuals should be explored (besides the Within one). Cheers, Tal – Tal Galili Jan 8 '11 at 19:37 npk.aovE is a list of three elements. The first two are parameter estimates and normality is not assumed for them, so it wouldn't seem appropriate to test anything except$Within. names(npk.aovE) returns  [1] "(Intercept)" "block" "Within" – DWin Jan 8 '11 at 19:57

I think that the normality assumption can be assessed for each of the repeated measures, before performing the analysis. I would reshape the dataframe so that each column corresponds to a repeated measure, and then perform a shapiro.test to each one of those columns.

apply(cast(melt(npk,measure.vars="yield"), ...~N+P+K)[-c(1:2)],2,function(x) shapiro.test(x)\$p.value)

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 Thanks gd047 - the question is what do we do when we have a more complex scenario of aov(yield ~ N*P*K + Error(block/(N+K)), npk) would the test you propose do the work? – Tal Galili Jan 8 '11 at 20:46 Would you be kind enough to explain the difference between the scenarios? Unfortunately I am not familiar enough with the use of the Error term in the model (by the way, can you suggest a good book on that?). What I just proposed is the SPSS way of checking the normality assumption, as I have learned it. See this as an example goo.gl/p45Bx – gd047 Jan 8 '11 at 21:38 Hi gd047. Thank you for the link. The things I know about these models are all linked to from here: r-statistics.com/2010/04/… If you'll get to know of other resources - I'd love to know about them. Cheers, Tal – Tal Galili Jan 8 '11 at 22:16

Another option would be to use the lme function of the nlme package (and then pass the obtained model to anova). You can use residuals on its output.

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