Suppose I have a test with multiple hypotheses.

For example, if I have X as a gene set (a set of symbols), and A, B, C pathways (sets of symbols), I am testing if A is enriched in X, B in X, C in X and so on.

Then I am correcting the resulting pvalues for multiple hypothesis testing.

Now I have several corrected pvalues, and I want to combine them to a single pvalue.

Is this possible?

I will add more info if needed.


1 Answer 1


A p-value is for a test of a particular hypothesis. There is (or should be) one test per hypothesis.

If you have a multiple regression, then you will get both an overall p value and one for each independent variable. However, each of these tests a different hypothesis.

Can you combine the p-values? Sure. You can take the mean, the median, whatever you like. But what will the result mean? If you can come up with a reasonable and substantively meaningful interpretation for this value, then go ahead and do it. But it's not a typical thing to do.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi Peter. Thanks for your answer. Sorry for the dumb question: what do you mean when you said multiple regression? I searched but having not a strong background on inference, I am having some problems understanding it. How does the multiple regression relate to the multiple pvalues I have in input? Thanks $\endgroup$
    – gc5
    May 29, 2014 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ Multiple regression makes one equation, so it has one p value for the entire equation. But it's a different test because all the IVs are controlled for. $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    May 29, 2014 at 10:29

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