Sign test - overview

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Sign test
Pearson correlation
Regression (OLS)
Independent variableVariable 1Independent variables
2 paired groupsOne quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne or more quantitative of interval or ratio level and/or one or more categorical with independent groups, transformed into code variables
Dependent variableVariable 2Dependent variable
One of ordinal levelOne quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne quantitative of interval or ratio level
Null hypothesisNull hypothesisNull hypothesis
  • H0: P(first score of a pair exceeds second score of a pair) = P(second score of a pair exceeds first score of a pair)
If the dependent variable is measured on a continuous scale, this can also be formulated as:
  • H0: the population median of the difference scores is equal to zero
A difference score is the difference between the first score of a pair and the second score of a pair.
H0: $\rho = \rho_0$

$\rho$ is the unknown Pearson correlation in the population, $\rho_0$ is the correlation in the population according to the null hypothesis (usually 0). The Pearson correlation is a measure for the strength and direction of the linear relationship between two variables of at least interval measurement level.
$F$ test for the complete regression model:
  • H0: $\beta_1 = \beta_2 = \ldots = \beta_K = 0$
    or equivalenty
  • H0: the variance explained by all the independent variables together (the complete model) is 0 in the population, i.e. $\rho^2 = 0$
$t$ test for individual regression coefficient $\beta_k$:
  • H0: $\beta_k = 0$
in the regression equation $ \mu_y = \beta_0 + \beta_1 \times x_1 + \beta_2 \times x_2 + \ldots + \beta_K \times x_K$. Here $ x_i$ represents independent variable $ i$, $\beta_i$ is the regression weight for independent variable $ x_i$, and $\mu_y$ represents the population mean of the dependent variable $ y$ given the scores on the independent variables.
Alternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesis
  • H1 two sided: P(first score of a pair exceeds second score of a pair) $\neq$ P(second score of a pair exceeds first score of a pair)
  • H1 right sided: P(first score of a pair exceeds second score of a pair) > P(second score of a pair exceeds first score of a pair)
  • H1 left sided: P(first score of a pair exceeds second score of a pair) < P(second score of a pair exceeds first score of a pair)
If the dependent variable is measured on a continuous scale, this can also be formulated as:
  • H1 two sided: the population median of the difference scores is different from zero
  • H1 right sided: the population median of the difference scores is larger than zero
  • H1 left sided: the population median of the difference scores is smaller than zero
H1 two sided: $\rho \neq \rho_0$
H1 right sided: $\rho > \rho_0$
H1 left sided: $\rho < \rho_0$
$F$ test for the complete regression model:
  • H1: not all population regression coefficients are 0
    or equivalenty
  • H1: the variance explained by all the independent variables together (the complete model) is larger than 0 in the population, i.e. $\rho^2 > 0$
$t$ test for individual regression coefficient $\beta_k$:
  • H1 two sided: $\beta_k \neq 0$
  • H1 right sided: $\beta_k > 0$
  • H1 left sided: $\beta_k < 0$
AssumptionsAssumptions of test for correlationAssumptions
  • Sample of pairs is a simple random sample from the population of pairs. That is, pairs are independent of one another
  • In the population, the two variables are jointly normally distributed (this covers the normality, homoscedasticity, and linearity assumptions)
  • Sample of pairs is a simple random sample from the population of pairs. That is, pairs are independent of one another
Note: these assumptions are only important for the significance test and confidence interval, not for the correlation coefficient itself. The correlation coefficient just measures the strength of the linear relationship between two variables.
  • In the population, the residuals are normally distributed at each combination of values of the independent variables
  • In the population, the standard deviation $\sigma$ of the residuals is the same for each combination of values of the independent variables (homoscedasticity)
  • In the population, the relationship between the independent variables and the mean of the dependent variable $\mu_y$ is linear. If this linearity assumption holds, the mean of the residuals is 0 for each combination of values of the independent variables
  • The residuals are independent of one another
Often ignored additional assumption:
  • Variables are measured without error
Also pay attention to:
  • Multicollinearity
  • Outliers
Test statisticTest statisticTest statistic
$W = $ number of difference scores that is larger than 0Test statistic for testing H0: $\rho = 0$:
  • $t = \dfrac{r \times \sqrt{N - 2}}{\sqrt{1 - r^2}} $
    where $r$ is the sample correlation $r = \frac{1}{N - 1} \sum_{j}\Big(\frac{x_{j} - \bar{x}}{s_x} \Big) \Big(\frac{y_{j} - \bar{y}}{s_y} \Big)$ and $N$ is the sample size
Test statistic for testing values for $\rho$ other than $\rho = 0$:
  • $z = \dfrac{r_{Fisher} - \rho_{0_{Fisher}}}{\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{N - 3}}}$
    • $r_{Fisher} = \dfrac{1}{2} \times \log\Bigg(\dfrac{1 + r}{1 - r} \Bigg )$, where $r$ is the sample correlation
    • $\rho_{0_{Fisher}} = \dfrac{1}{2} \times \log\Bigg( \dfrac{1 + \rho_0}{1 - \rho_0} \Bigg )$, where $\rho_0$ is the population correlation according to H0
$F$ test for the complete regression model:
  • $ \begin{aligned}[t] F &= \dfrac{\sum (\hat{y}_j - \bar{y})^2 / K}{\sum (y_j - \hat{y}_j)^2 / (N - K - 1)}\\ &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares model} / \mbox{degrees of freedom model}}{\mbox{sum of squares error} / \mbox{degrees of freedom error}}\\ &= \dfrac{\mbox{mean square model}}{\mbox{mean square error}} \end{aligned} $
    where $\hat{y}_j$ is the predicted score on the dependent variable $y$ of subject $j$, $\bar{y}$ is the mean of $y$, $y_j$ is the score on $y$ of subject $j$, $N$ is the total sample size, and $K$ is the number of independent variables
$t$ test for individual $\beta_k$:
  • $t = \dfrac{b_k}{SE_{b_k}}$
    • If only one independent variable:
      $SE_{b_1} = \dfrac{\sqrt{\sum (y_j - \hat{y}_j)^2 / (N - 2)}}{\sqrt{\sum (x_j - \bar{x})^2}} = \dfrac{s}{\sqrt{\sum (x_j - \bar{x})^2}}$, with $s$ the sample standard deviation of the residuals, $x_j$ the score of subject $j$ on the independent variable $x$, and $\bar{x}$ the mean of $x$. For models with more than one independent variable, computing $SE_{b_k}$ becomes complicated
Note 1: mean square model is also known as mean square regression; mean square error is also known as mean square residual
Note 2: if only one independent variable ($K = 1$), the $F$ test for the complete regression model is equivalent to the two sided $t$ test for $\beta_1$
n.a.n.a.Sample standard deviation of the residuals $s$
--$\begin{aligned} s &= \sqrt{\dfrac{\sum (y_j - \hat{y}_j)^2}{N - K - 1}}\\ &= \sqrt{\dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares error}}{\mbox{degrees of freedom error}}}\\ &= \sqrt{\mbox{mean square error}} \end{aligned} $
Sampling distribution of $W$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $t$ and of $z$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $F$ and of $t$ if H0 were true
The exact distribution of $W$ under the null hypothesis is the Binomial($n$, $p$) distribution, with $n =$ number of positive differences $+$ number of negative differences, and $p = 0.5$.

If $n$ is large, $W$ is approximately normally distributed under the null hypothesis, with mean $np = n \times 0.5$ and standard deviation $\sqrt{np(1-p)} = \sqrt{n \times 0.5(1 - 0.5)}$. Hence, if $n$ is large, the standardized test statistic $$z = \frac{W - n \times 0.5}{\sqrt{n \times 0.5(1 - 0.5)}}$$ follows approximately the standard normal distribution if the null hypothesis were true.
Sampling distribution of $t$:
  • $t$ distribution with $N - 2$ degrees of freedom
Sampling distribution of $z$:
  • Approximately the standard normal distribution
Sampling distribution of $F$:
  • $F$ distribution with $K$ (df model, numerator) and $N - K - 1$ (df error, denominator) degrees of freedom
Sampling distribution of $t$:
  • $t$ distribution with $N - K - 1$ (df error) degrees of freedom
Significant?Significant?Significant?
If $n$ is small, the table for the binomial distribution should be used:
Two sided:
  • Check if $W$ observed in sample is in the rejection region or
  • Find two sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $W$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
Right sided:
  • Check if $W$ observed in sample is in the rejection region or
  • Find right sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $W$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
Left sided:
  • Check if $W$ observed in sample is in the rejection region or
  • Find left sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $W$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$

If $n$ is large, the table for standard normal probabilities can be used:
Two sided: Right sided: Left sided:
$t$ Test two sided: $t$ Test right sided: $t$ Test left sided: $z$ Test two sided: $z$ Test right sided: $z$ Test left sided: $F$ test:
  • Check if $F$ observed in sample is equal to or larger than critical value $F^*$ or
  • Find $p$ value corresponding to observed $F$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
$t$ Test two sided: $t$ Test right sided: $t$ Test left sided:
n.a.Approximate $C$% confidence interval for $\rho$$C\%$ confidence interval for $\beta_k$ and for $\mu_y$; $C\%$ prediction interval for $y_{new}$
-First compute the approximate $C$% confidence interval for $\rho_{Fisher}$:
  • $lower_{Fisher} = r_{Fisher} - z^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{1}{N - 3}}$
  • $upper_{Fisher} = r_{Fisher} + z^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{1}{N - 3}}$
where $r_{Fisher} = \frac{1}{2} \times \log\Bigg(\dfrac{1 + r}{1 - r} \Bigg )$ and 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).
Then transform back to get the approximate $C$% confidence interval for $\rho$:
  • lower bound = $\dfrac{e^{2 \times lower_{Fisher}} - 1}{e^{2 \times lower_{Fisher}} + 1}$
  • upper bound = $\dfrac{e^{2 \times upper_{Fisher}} - 1}{e^{2 \times upper_{Fisher}} + 1}$
Confidence interval for $\beta_k$:
  • $b_k \pm t^* \times SE_{b_k}$
    • If only one independent variable:
      $SE_{b_1} = \dfrac{\sqrt{\sum (y_j - \hat{y}_j)^2 / (N - 2)}}{\sqrt{\sum (x_j - \bar{x})^2}} = \dfrac{s}{\sqrt{\sum (x_j - \bar{x})^2}}$
Confidence interval for $\mu_y$, the population mean of $y$ given the values on the independent variables:
  • $\hat{y} \pm t^* \times SE_{\hat{y}}$
    • If only one independent variable:
      $SE_{\hat{y}} = s \sqrt{\dfrac{1}{N} + \dfrac{(x^* - \bar{x})^2}{\sum (x_j - \bar{x})^2}}$
Prediction interval for $y_{new}$, the score on $y$ of a future respondent:
  • $\hat{y} \pm t^* \times SE_{y_{new}}$
    • If only one independent variable:
      $SE_{y_{new}} = s \sqrt{1 + \dfrac{1}{N} + \dfrac{(x^* - \bar{x})^2}{\sum (x_j - \bar{x})^2}}$
In all formulas, the critical value $t^*$ is the value under the $t_{N - K - 1}$ distribution with the area $C / 100$ between $-t^*$ and $t^*$ (e.g. $t^*$ = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20).
n.a.Properties of the Pearson correlation coefficientEffect size
-
  • The Pearson correlation coefficient is a measure for the linear relationship between two quantitative variables.
  • The Pearson correlation coefficient squared reflects the proportion of variance explained in one variable by the other variable.
  • The Pearson correlation coefficient can take on values between -1 (perfect negative relationship) and 1 (perfect positive relationship). A value of 0 means no linear relationship.
  • The absolute size of the Pearson correlation coefficient is not affected by any linear transformation of the variables. However, the sign of the Pearson correlation will flip when the scores on one of the two variables are multiplied by a negative number (reversing the direction of measurement of that variable).
    For example:
    • the correlation between $x$ and $y$ is equivalent to the correlation between $3x + 5$ and $2y - 6$.
    • the absolute value of the correlation between $x$ and $y$ is equivalent to the absolute value of the correlation between $-3x + 5$ and $2y - 6$. However, the signs of the two correlation coefficients will be in opposite directions, due to the multiplication of $x$ by $-3$.
  • The Pearson correlation coefficient does not say anything about causality.
  • The Pearson correlation coefficient is sensitive to outliers.
Complete model:
  • Proportion variance explained $R^2$:
    Proportion variance of the dependent variable $y$ explained by the sample regression equation (the independent variables):
    $$ \begin{align} R^2 &= \dfrac{\sum (\hat{y}_j - \bar{y})^2}{\sum (y_j - \bar{y})^2}\\ &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares model}}{\mbox{sum of squares total}}\\ &= 1 - \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares error}}{\mbox{sum of squares total}}\\ &= r(y, \hat{y})^2 \end{align} $$
    $R^2$ is the proportion variance explained in the sample by the sample regression equation. It is a positively biased estimate of the proportion variance explained in the population by the population regression equation, $\rho^2$. If there is only one independent variable, $R^2 = r^2$: the correlation between the independent variable $x$ and dependent variable $y$ squared.
  • Wherry's $R^2$ / shrunken $R^2$:
    Corrects for the positive bias in $R^2$ and is equal to $$R^2_W = 1 - \frac{N - 1}{N - K - 1}(1 - R^2)$$
    $R^2_W$ is a less biased estimate than $R^2$ of the proportion variance explained in the population by the population regression equation, $\rho^2$
  • Stein's $R^2$:
    Estimates the proportion of variance in $y$ that we expect the current sample regression equation to explain in a different sample drawn from the same population. It is equal to $$R^2_S = 1 - \frac{(N - 1)(N - 2)(N + 1)}{(N - K - 1)(N - K - 2)(N)}(1 - R^2)$$
Per independent variable:
  • Correlation squared $r^2_k$: the proportion of the total variance in the dependent variable $y$ that is explained by the independent variable $x_k$, not corrected for the other independent variables in the model
  • Semi-partial correlation squared $sr^2_k$: the proportion of the total variance in the dependent variable $y$ that is uniquely explained by the independent variable $x_k$, beyond the part that is already explained by the other independent variables in the model
  • Partial correlation squared $pr^2_k$: the proportion of the variance in the dependent variable $y$ not explained by the other independent variables, that is uniquely explained by the independent variable $x_k$
n.a.n.a.Visual representation
--Regression equations with:
n.a.n.a.ANOVA table
--
ANOVA table regression analysis
Equivalent toEquivalent ton.a.
Two sided sign test is equivalent to OLS regression with one independent variable:
  • $b_1 = r \times \frac{s_y}{s_x}$
  • Results significance test ($t$ and $p$ value) testing $H_0$: $\beta_1 = 0$ are equivalent to results significance test testing $H_0$: $\rho = 0$
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Example contextExample contextExample context
Do people tend to score higher on mental health after a mindfulness course?Is there a linear relationship between physical health and mental health?Can mental health be predicted from fysical health, economic class, and gender?
SPSSSPSSSPSS
Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > 2 Related Samples...
  • Put the two paired variables in the boxes below Variable 1 and Variable 2
  • Under Test Type, select the Sign test
Analyze > Correlate > Bivariate...
  • Put your two variables in the box below Variables
Analyze > Regression > Linear...
  • Put your dependent variable in the box below Dependent and your independent (predictor) variables in the box below Independent(s)
JamoviJamoviJamovi
Jamovi does not have a specific option for the sign test. However, you can do the Friedman test instead. The $p$ value resulting from this Friedman test is equivalent to the two sided $p$ value that would have resulted from the sign test. Go to:

ANOVA > Repeated Measures ANOVA - Friedman
  • Put the two paired variables in the box below Measures
Regression > Correlation Matrix
  • Put your two variables in the white box at the right
  • Under Correlation Coefficients, select Pearson (selected by default)
  • Under Hypothesis, select your alternative hypothesis
Regression > Linear Regression
  • Put your dependent variable in the box below Dependent Variable and your independent variables of interval/ratio level in the box below Covariates
  • If you also have code (dummy) variables as independent variables, you can put these in the box below Covariates as well
  • Instead of transforming your categorical independent variable(s) into code variables, you can also put the untransformed categorical independent variables in the box below Factors. Jamovi will then make the code variables for you 'behind the scenes'
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