Using Generative AI to help with statistical test selection and analysis




statistical test selection, ChatGPT, generative AI, prompt engineering


One of the most common questions that students ask statistics advisors is ‘What test should I do?’ This paper explores the use of generative AI chatbots, specifically ChatGPT, as a tool to assist students, in particular those with limited experience in statistics, in selecting appropriate statistical tests for their analyses. Traditional methods, such as flowcharts and online test selectors, require at least a basic understanding of measurement scales and research design, which can be an issue for many students who have limited exposure to statistics on their courses. This research focuses on developing and refining prompts to guide ChatGPT in providing accurate and relevant statistical test recommendations. A hypothetical scenario was used to test the effectiveness of various prompts, ranging from simple, naïve questions to more sophisticated ones utilising specific prompt patterns, such as the ‘context manager’ and ‘flipped interaction.’ These patterns were selected to enhance the chatbot’s responses and ensure the relevance and accuracy of the test suggestions. The findings suggest that while AI chatbots like ChatGPT can be a valuable resource for students, their effectiveness is highly dependent on the quality of the prompts used. The paper concludes with a discussion on the potential of these AI tools in educational settings, acknowledging the limitations of current technology and suggesting directions for future research and development.


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