Combining probability from independent tests: the weighted Z-method is superior to Fisher's approach

J Evol Biol. 2005 Sep;18(5):1368-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.00917.x.


The most commonly used method in evolutionary biology for combining information across multiple tests of the same null hypothesis is Fisher's combined probability test. This note shows that an alternative method called the weighted Z-test has more power and more precision than does Fisher's test. Furthermore, in contrast to some statements in the literature, the weighted Z-method is superior to the unweighted Z-transform approach. The results in this note show that, when combining P-values from multiple tests of the same hypothesis, the weighted Z-method should be preferred.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Probability*
  • Research Design