I am attempting to determine how to test the relationship between a discrete variable (the length of a string of text, my IV) and a categorical variable (binary, a yes or no outcome, my DV) but I'm having trouble figuring out the best methodology. Would it be incorrect to use a one-way ANOVA or is that a valid method?

I had performed an ANOVA and gotten good results (p-value < 0.05 indicating a relationship) but upon further research I'm less confident that the one-way ANOVA has given me good or valid results.

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    $\begingroup$ There is no correlation when categorical variables are involved, so that goes out the window. What is your research question? $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2023 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ How is "length of string" a discrete variable? If your DV is binary, then the usual method would be logistic regression. $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Jul 20, 2023 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ What’s wrong with the usual Pearson correlation? $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Jul 20, 2023 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ What exactly do you mean by "testing the relationship", trying to find out if length of string has an influence at all, or something more detailed? $\endgroup$
    – Ute
    Jul 20, 2023 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ How big is your sample size, and what is the range of string lengths? $\endgroup$
    – Ute
    Jul 22, 2023 at 8:29

1 Answer 1


You have given us very little information to build on, so please edit your question so we can know more (sample size? Showing us an excerpt of data, or a link? Plots? ...) but in the meantime ...

For a binary dependent variable and a numerical covariate, logistic regression is my starting point. Search this site ... and see also Correlations with unordered categorical variables, Correlations between continuous and categorical (nominal) variables, Correlation between dichotomous and continuous variable,


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