Bayesian statistics in genetics: a guide for the uninitiated

Trends Genet. 1999 Sep;15(9):354-8. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(99)01751-5.


Statistical analyses are used in many fields of genetic research. Most geneticists are taught classical statistics, which includes hypothesis testing, estimation and the construction of confidence intervals; this framework has proved more than satisfactory in many ways. What does a Bayesian framework have to offer geneticists? Its utility lies in offering a more direct approach to some questions and the incorporation of prior information. It can also provide a more straightforward interpretation of results. The utility of a Bayesian perspective, especially for complex problems, is becoming increasingly clear to the statistics community; geneticists are also finding this framework useful and are increasingly utilizing the power of this approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem*
  • Biometry
  • Genetics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Probability
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable