In Excel 2010, the CONFIDENCE function has been renamed CONFIDENCE.NORM.
The Excel CONFIDENCE function uses a Normal Distribution to calculate a confidence value that can be used to construct the Confidence Interval for a population mean, for a supplied probablity and sample size. It is assumed that the standard deviation of the population is known.
The format of the function is:
where the arguments are as follows:
|alpha||-||(e.g. a significance level of 0.05 equates to a confidence level of 95%).|
|standard_dev||-||The standard deviation of the population.|
|size||-||The population sample size.|
To calculate the confidence interval for a population mean, the returned CONFIDENCE value must then be added to, and subtracted from, the sample mean. ie. for the sample mean x:
In the spreadsheet below, the Excel Confidence Function is used to calculate the confidence interval with a significance of 0.05 (ie. a confidence level of 95%), for the mean of a sample of heights of 100 men. The sample mean is 1.8 meters and the standard deviation is 0.07 meters.
|1||=CONFIDENCE( 0.05, 0.07, 100 )|
The above function returns a confidence value of 0.013719748
Therefore the confidence interval is 1.8 ± 0.013719748, which is equal to the range 1.786280252 to 1.813719748
Further information and examples of the Excel Confidence function can be found on the Microsoft Office website.
If you get an error from your Excel Confidence function this is likely to be one of the following:
|#VALUE!||-||Occurs if any of the supplied arguments are non-numeric.|