What Is the Bonferroni Correction?

Matthew A. Napierala, MD

The Bonferroni correction is an adjustment made to P values when several dependent or independent statistical tests are being performed simultaneously on a single data set. To perform a Bonferroni correction, divide the critical P value (α) by the number of comparisons being made. For example, if 10 hypotheses are being tested, the new critical P value would be α/10. The statistical power of the study is then calculated based on this modified P value.

The Bonferroni correction is used to reduce the chances of obtaining false-positive results (type I errors) when multiple pair wise tests are performed on a single set of data. Put simply, the probability of identifying at least one significant result due to chance increases as more hypotheses are tested.

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