# One sample t test for the mean - overview

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One sample $t$ test for the mean
Two sample $z$ test
Independent variableIndependent/grouping variable
NoneOne categorical with 2 independent groups
Dependent variableDependent variable
One quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne quantitative of interval or ratio level
Null hypothesisNull hypothesis
H0: $\mu = \mu_0$

Here $\mu$ is the population mean, and $\mu_0$ is the population mean according to the null hypothesis.
H0: $\mu_1 = \mu_2$

Here $\mu_1$ is the population mean for group 1, and $\mu_2$ is the population mean for group 2.
Alternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesis
H1 two sided: $\mu \neq \mu_0$
H1 right sided: $\mu > \mu_0$
H1 left sided: $\mu < \mu_0$
H1 two sided: $\mu_1 \neq \mu_2$
H1 right sided: $\mu_1 > \mu_2$
H1 left sided: $\mu_1 < \mu_2$
AssumptionsAssumptions
• Scores are normally distributed in the population
• Sample is a simple random sample from the population. That is, observations are independent of one another
• Within each population, the scores on the dependent variable are normally distributed
• Population standard deviations $\sigma_1$ and $\sigma_2$ are known
• Group 1 sample is a simple random sample (SRS) from population 1, group 2 sample is an independent SRS from population 2. That is, within and between groups, observations are independent of one another
Test statisticTest statistic
$t = \dfrac{\bar{y} - \mu_0}{s / \sqrt{N}}$
Here $\bar{y}$ is the sample mean, $\mu_0$ is the population mean according to the null hypothesis, $s$ is the sample standard deviation, and $N$ is the sample size.

The denominator $s / \sqrt{N}$ is the standard error of the sampling distribution of $\bar{y}$. The $t$ value indicates how many standard errors $\bar{y}$ is removed from $\mu_0$.
$z = \dfrac{(\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) - 0}{\sqrt{\dfrac{\sigma^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{\sigma^2_2}{n_2}}} = \dfrac{\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2}{\sqrt{\dfrac{\sigma^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{\sigma^2_2}{n_2}}}$
Here $\bar{y}_1$ is the sample mean in group 1, $\bar{y}_2$ is the sample mean in group 2, $\sigma^2_1$ is the population variance in population 1, $\sigma^2_2$ is the population variance in population 2, $n_1$ is the sample size of group 1, and $n_2$ is the sample size of group 2. The 0 represents the difference in population means according to the null hypothesis.

The denominator $\sqrt{\frac{\sigma^2_1}{n_1} + \frac{\sigma^2_2}{n_2}}$ is the standard deviation of the sampling distribution of $\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2$. The $z$ value indicates how many of these standard deviations $\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2$ is removed from 0.

Note: we could just as well compute $\bar{y}_2 - \bar{y}_1$ in the numerator, but then the left sided alternative becomes $\mu_2 < \mu_1$, and the right sided alternative becomes $\mu_2 > \mu_1$.
Sampling distribution of $t$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $z$ if H0 were true
$t$ distribution with $N - 1$ degrees of freedomStandard normal distribution
Significant?Significant?
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
$C\%$ confidence interval for $\mu$$C\% confidence interval for \mu_1 - \mu_2 \bar{y} \pm t^* \times \dfrac{s}{\sqrt{N}} where the critical value t^* is the value under the t_{N-1} distribution with the area C / 100 between -t^* and t^* (e.g. t^* = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20). The confidence interval for \mu can also be used as significance test. (\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) \pm z^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{\sigma^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{\sigma^2_2}{n_2}} where the critical value z^* is the value under the normal curve with the area C / 100 between -z^* and z^* (e.g. z^* = 1.96 for a 95% confidence interval). The confidence interval for \mu_1 - \mu_2 can also be used as significance test. Effect sizen.a. Cohen's d: Standardized difference between the sample mean and \mu_0:$$d = \frac{\bar{y} - \mu_0}{s}$$Cohen's$d$indicates how many standard deviations$s$the sample mean$\bar{y}$is removed from$\mu_0.$- Visual representationVisual representation Example contextExample context Is the average mental health score of office workers different from$\mu_0 = 50$?Is the average mental health score different between men and women? Assume that in the population, the standard devation of the mental health scores is$\sigma_1 = 2$amongst men and$\sigma_2 = 2.5$amongst women. SPSSn.a. Analyze > Compare Means > One-Sample T Test... • Put your variable in the box below Test Variable(s) • Fill in the value for$\mu_0$in the box next to Test Value - Jamovin.a. T-Tests > One Sample T-Test • Put your variable in the box below Dependent Variables • Under Hypothesis, fill in the value for$\mu_0\$ in the box next to Test Value, and select your alternative hypothesis
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Practice questionsPractice questions