Spearman's rho  overview
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Spearman's rho  Two sample $t$ test  equal variances assumed 


Variable 1  Independent/grouping variable  
One of ordinal level  One categorical with 2 independent groups  
Variable 2  Dependent variable  
One of ordinal level  One quantitative of interval or ratio level  
Null hypothesis  Null hypothesis  
H_{0}: $\rho_s = 0$
Here $\rho_s$ is the Spearman correlation in the population. The Spearman correlation is a measure for the strength and direction of the monotonic relationship between two variables of at least ordinal measurement level. In words, the null hypothesis would be: H_{0}: there is no monotonic relationship between the two variables in the population.  H_{0}: $\mu_1 = \mu_2$
Here $\mu_1$ is the population mean for group 1, and $\mu_2$ is the population mean for group 2.  
Alternative hypothesis  Alternative hypothesis  
H_{1} two sided: $\rho_s \neq 0$ H_{1} right sided: $\rho_s > 0$ H_{1} left sided: $\rho_s < 0$  H_{1} two sided: $\mu_1 \neq \mu_2$ H_{1} right sided: $\mu_1 > \mu_2$ H_{1} left sided: $\mu_1 < \mu_2$  
Assumptions  Assumptions  

 
Test statistic  Test statistic  
$t = \dfrac{r_s \times \sqrt{N  2}}{\sqrt{1  r_s^2}} $ Here $r_s$ is the sample Spearman correlation and $N$ is the sample size. The sample Spearman correlation $r_s$ is equal to the Pearson correlation applied to the rank scores.  $t = \dfrac{(\bar{y}_1  \bar{y}_2)  0}{s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_1} + \dfrac{1}{n_2}}} = \dfrac{\bar{y}_1  \bar{y}_2}{s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_1} + \dfrac{1}{n_2}}}$
Here $\bar{y}_1$ is the sample mean in group 1, $\bar{y}_2$ is the sample mean in group 2, $s_p$ is the pooled standard deviation, $n_1$ 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 $s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_1} + \dfrac{1}{n_2}}$ is the standard error of the sampling distribution of $\bar{y}_1  \bar{y}_2$. The $t$ value indicates how many standard errors $\bar{y}_1  \bar{y}_2$ 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 $\mu_2 > \mu_1$.  
n.a.  Pooled standard deviation  
  $s_p = \sqrt{\dfrac{(n_1  1) \times s^2_1 + (n_2  1) \times s^2_2}{n_1 + n_2  2}}$  
Sampling distribution of $t$ if H_{0} were true  Sampling distribution of $t$ if H_{0} were true  
Approximately the $t$ distribution with $N  2$ degrees of freedom  $t$ distribution with $n_1 + n_2  2$ degrees of freedom  
Significant?  Significant?  
Two sided:
 Two sided:
 
n.a.  $C\%$ confidence interval for $\mu_1  \mu_2$  
  $(\bar{y}_1  \bar{y}_2) \pm t^* \times s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_1} + \dfrac{1}{n_2}}$
where the critical value $t^*$ is the value under the $t_{n_1 + n_2  2}$ 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 $\mu_1  \mu_2$ can also be used as significance test.  
n.a.  Effect size  
  Cohen's $d$: Standardized difference between the mean in group $1$ and in group $2$: $$d = \frac{\bar{y}_1  \bar{y}_2}{s_p}$$ Cohen's $d$ indicates how many standard deviations $s_p$ the two sample means are removed from each other.  
n.a.  Visual representation  
  
n.a.  Equivalent to  
  One way ANOVA with an independent variable with 2 levels ($I$ = 2):
 
Example context  Example context  
Is there a monotonic relationship between physical health and mental health?  Is the average mental health score different between men and women? Assume that in the population, the standard deviation of mental health scores is equal amongst men and women.  
SPSS  SPSS  
Analyze > Correlate > Bivariate...
 Analyze > Compare Means > IndependentSamples T Test...
 
Jamovi  Jamovi  
Regression > Correlation Matrix
 TTests > Independent Samples TTest
 
Practice questions  Practice questions  