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Time is usually treated as a continuous variable but in some cases it is discrete. An example would be with a drug study and measurements are taken at 1, 2 and 3 hours. Am I right to think an appropriate test for this data would be a repeated measures ANOVA?

I guess my question is what causes time to be treated as discrete in this case, and continuous in others?

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  • $\begingroup$ I have tried to make the question text a bit clearer - let me know if I have made any changes you disagree with. $\endgroup$
    – Silverfish
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 12:38

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Although time is theoretically continuous, and many mathematical models (like geometric distribution) model continuous time, in an empirical setting, events or states are measured at selected points in time. Because of this measurement structure, we often have to use discrete time models.

The repeated measures ANOVA is an example of a model that can be used in a discrete time setting.

A related example is panel regression models such as the fixed effect model.

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Time can be treated as discrete when you are using a time frame. Like how many hours are within a week. It cannot go any further than 168 hrs. Correct me if I'm wrong😊

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site, @Emmy. Please don't post tentative answers and ask for feedback. Cross Validated is strictly a Q&A site, not a discussion forum. If you want to ask about your understanding of something, please post it as a new question. Since you're new here, you may want to take our tour, which has information for new users. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ "Hours in a week" is a duration, not a time. $\endgroup$
    – whuber
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 17:50

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