In statistics, a **studentized residual** is the quotient resulting from the division of a residual by an estimate of its standard deviation. Typically the standard deviations of residuals in a sample vary greatly from one data point to another even when the errors all have the same standard deviation, particularly in regression analysis; thus it does not make sense to compare residuals at different data points without first studentizing. It is a form of a Student's t-statistic, with the estimate of error varying between points.

## Contents

This is an important technique in the detection of outliers. It is among several named in honor of William Sealey Gosset, who wrote under the pseudonym * Student*, and dividing by an

*estimate*of scale is called

**studentizing,**in analogy with standardizing and normalizing.

## Motivation

The key reason for studentizing is that, in regression analysis of a multivariate distribution, the variances of the *residuals* at different input variable values may differ, even if the variances of the *errors* at these different input variable values are equal. The issue is the difference between errors and residuals in statistics, particularly the behavior of residuals in regressions.

Consider the simple linear regression model

Given a random sample (*X*_{i}, *Y*_{i}), *i* = 1, ..., *n*, each pair (*X*_{i}, *Y*_{i}) satisfies

where the *errors* *ε*_{i}, are independent and all have the same variance *σ*^{2}. The **residuals** are not the true, and unobservable, errors, but rather are *estimates*, based on the observable data, of the errors. When the method of least squares is used to estimate *α*_{0} and α_{1}, then the residuals

and

(Here *ε*_{i} is the *i*th error, and
*i*th residual.)

Moreover, and most importantly, the residuals, unlike the errors, *do not all have the same variance:* the variance decreases as the corresponding *x*-value gets farther from the average *x*-value. This is a feature of the regression better fitting values at the ends of the domain, not the data itself, and is also reflected in the influence functions of various data points on the regression coefficients: endpoints have more influence. This can also be seen because the residuals at endpoints depend greatly on the slope of a fitted line, while the residuals at the middle are relatively insensitive to the slope. The fact that *the variances of the residuals differ,* even though *the variances of the true errors are all equal* to each other, is the *principal reason* for the need for studentization.

It is not simply a matter of the population parameters (mean and standard deviation) being unknown – it is that *regressions* yield *different residual distributions* at *different data points,* unlike *point estimators* of univariate distributions, which share a *common distribution* for residuals.

## How to studentize

For this simple model, the design matrix is

and the hat matrix *H* is the matrix of the orthogonal projection onto the column space of the design matrix:

The leverage *h*_{ii} is the *i*th diagonal entry in the hat matrix. The variance of the *i*th residual is

In case the design matrix *X* has only two columns (as in the example above), this is equal to

The corresponding **studentized residual** is then

where

## Distribution

If the errors are independent and normally distributed with expected value 0 and variance σ^{2}, then the probability distribution of the *i*th externally studentized residual
*n* − *m* − 1 degrees of freedom, and can range from

On the other hand, the internally studentized residuals are in the range
*ν* = *n* − *m* is the number of residual degrees of freedom. If *t*_{i} represents the internally studentized residual, and again assuming that the errors are independent identically distributed Gaussian variables, then:

where *t* is a random variable distributed as Student's t-distribution with *ν* − 1 degrees of freedom. In fact, this implies that *t*_{i} /*ν* follows the beta distribution *B*(1/2,(*ν* − 1)/2). The distribution above is sometimes referred to as the **tau distribution**; it was first derived by Thompson in 1935.

When *ν* = 3, the internally studentized residuals are uniformly distributed between
*t*_{i} are all either +1 or −1, with 50% chance for each.

The standard deviation of the distribution of internally studentized residuals is always 1, but this does not imply that the standard deviation of all the *t*_{i} of a particular experiment is 1. For instance, the internally studentized residuals when fitting a straight line going through (0, 0) to the points (1, 4), (2, −1), (2, −1) are