Where does that 2 come from in the likelihood ratio test?

This afternoon, in class, we’ve seen Wald test, the likelihood-ratio test, and finally the score test. All of them rely on the same idea

and then, use that if   with , we can write

Or – slightly more interesting – if  , then

Then one can get that

Based on that property, we can derive Wald statistics,

that can be visualized below

The score test is a test on the square of the slope

The idea for the likelihood ratio test is to consider

Observe that  can be written, using Taylor’s expansion

for some . The first term is null, since the maximum likelihood estimator is precisely at the maximum of the (log) likelihood. So

That’s more or less where the 2 comes from. Then observe that

and therefore

This test will be discussed further next week (since it is related to Neyman-Pearson’s theorem), but also, that result can be used to derive confidence intervals. With a log-likelihood as follows

it is possible to get a confidence interval for the parameter by looking for‘s such that

We will discuss that idea later on, in the context of profile likelihood.


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