Spearman's rho  overview
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Spearman's rho  Wilcoxon signedrank test 


Variable 1  Independent variable  
One of ordinal level  2 paired 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}: $m = 0$
Here $m$ is the population median of the difference scores. A difference score is the difference between the first score of a pair and the second score of a pair. Several different formulations of the null hypothesis can be found in the literature, and we do not agree with all of them. Make sure you (also) learn the one that is given in your text book or by your teacher.  
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: $m \neq 0$ H_{1} right sided: $m > 0$ H_{1} left sided: $m < 0$  
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.  Two different types of test statistics can be used, but both will result in the same test outcome. We will denote the first option the $W_1$ statistic (also known as the $T$ statistic), and the second option the $W_2$ statistic.
In order to compute each of the test statistics, follow the steps below:
 
Sampling distribution of $t$ if H_{0} were true  Sampling distribution of $W_1$ and of $W_2$ if H_{0} were true  
Approximately the $t$ distribution with $N  2$ degrees of freedom  Sampling distribution of $W_1$:
If $N_r$ is large, $W_1$ is approximately normally distributed with mean $\mu_{W_1}$ and standard deviation $\sigma_{W_1}$ if the null hypothesis were true. Here $$\mu_{W_1} = \frac{N_r(N_r + 1)}{4}$$ $$\sigma_{W_1} = \sqrt{\frac{N_r(N_r + 1)(2N_r + 1)}{24}}$$ Hence, if $N_r$ is large, the standardized test statistic $$z = \frac{W_1  \mu_{W_1}}{\sigma_{W_1}}$$ follows approximately the standard normal distribution if the null hypothesis were true. Sampling distribution of $W_2$: If $N_r$ is large, $W_2$ is approximately normally distributed with mean $0$ and standard deviation $\sigma_{W_2}$ if the null hypothesis were true. Here $$\sigma_{W_2} = \sqrt{\frac{N_r(N_r + 1)(2N_r + 1)}{6}}$$ Hence, if $N_r$ is large, the standardized test statistic $$z = \frac{W_2}{\sigma_{W_2}}$$ follows approximately the standard normal distribution if the null hypothesis were true. If $N_r$ is small, the exact distribution of $W_1$ or $W_2$ should be used. Note: if ties are present in the data, the formula for the standard deviations $\sigma_{W_1}$ and $\sigma_{W_2}$ is more complicated.  
Significant?  Significant?  
Two sided:
 For large samples, the table for standard normal probabilities can be used: Two sided:
 
Example context  Example context  
Is there a monotonic relationship between physical health and mental health?  Is the median of the differences between the mental health scores before and after an intervention different from 0?  
SPSS  SPSS  
Analyze > Correlate > Bivariate...
 Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > 2 Related Samples...
 
Jamovi  Jamovi  
Regression > Correlation Matrix
 TTests > Paired Samples TTest
 
Practice questions  Practice questions  