Standard Article

Sensitivity and Specificity

Environmental Health

  1. Walter W. Piegorsch

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vas016.pub2

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Piegorsch, W. W. 2013. Sensitivity and Specificity . Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 5.

Author Information

  1. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


A brief introduction is given on the use of the terms sensitivity and specificity. Emphasis is directed at diagnostic testing/screening, where the terms delineate forms of true positive and true negative rates of the diagnostic outcomes.


  • diagnostic test;
  • screening;
  • misclassification;
  • concordance;
  • false positive rate;
  • false negative rate