# Two sample t test - equal variances not assumed - overview

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Two sample $t$ test - equal variances not assumed
Two sample $t$ test - equal variances assumed
Spearman's rho
Independent/grouping variableIndependent/grouping variableVariable 1
One categorical with 2 independent groupsOne categorical with 2 independent groupsOne of ordinal level
Dependent variableDependent variableVariable 2
One quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne of ordinal level
Null hypothesisNull hypothesisNull 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.
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.
H0: $\rho_s = 0$

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:

H0: there is no monotonic relationship between the two variables in the population.
Alternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesis
H1 two sided: $\mu_1 \neq \mu_2$
H1 right sided: $\mu_1 > \mu_2$
H1 left sided: $\mu_1 < \mu_2$
H1 two sided: $\mu_1 \neq \mu_2$
H1 right sided: $\mu_1 > \mu_2$
H1 left sided: $\mu_1 < \mu_2$
H1 two sided: $\rho_s \neq 0$
H1 right sided: $\rho_s > 0$
H1 left sided: $\rho_s < 0$
AssumptionsAssumptionsAssumptions
• Within each population, the scores on the dependent variable are normally distributed
• 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
• Within each population, the scores on the dependent variable are normally distributed
• The standard deviation of the scores on the dependent variable is the same in both populations: $\sigma_1 = \sigma_2$
• 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
• Sample of pairs is a simple random sample from the population of pairs. That is, pairs are independent of one another
Note: this assumption is only important for the significance test, not for the correlation coefficient itself. The correlation coefficient itself just measures the strength of the monotonic relationship between two variables.
Test statisticTest statisticTest statistic
$t = \dfrac{(\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) - 0}{\sqrt{\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}}} = \dfrac{\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2}{\sqrt{\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}}}$
Here $\bar{y}_1$ is the sample mean in group 1, $\bar{y}_2$ is the sample mean in group 2, $s^2_1$ is the sample variance in group 1, $s^2_2$ is the sample variance in group 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 $\sqrt{\frac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \frac{s^2_2}{n_2}}$ 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 $\mu_2 > \mu_1$.
$t = \dfrac{(\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) - 0}{s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_1} + \dfrac{1}{n_2}}} = \dfrac{\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2}{s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_1} + \dfrac{1}{n_2}}}$
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 $\mu_2 > \mu_1$.
$t = \dfrac{r_s \times \sqrt{N - 2}}{\sqrt{1 - r_s^2}}$
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.
n.a.Pooled standard deviationn.a.
-$s_p = \sqrt{\dfrac{(n_1 - 1) \times s^2_1 + (n_2 - 1) \times s^2_2}{n_1 + n_2 - 2}}$-
Sampling distribution of $t$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $t$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $t$ if H0 were true
Approximately the $t$ distribution with $k$ degrees of freedom, with $k$ equal to
$k = \dfrac{\Bigg(\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}\Bigg)^2}{\dfrac{1}{n_1 - 1} \Bigg(\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1}\Bigg)^2 + \dfrac{1}{n_2 - 1} \Bigg(\dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}\Bigg)^2}$
or
$k$ = the smaller of $n_1$ - 1 and $n_2$ - 1

First definition of $k$ is used by computer programs, second definition is often used for hand calculations.
$t$ distribution with $n_1 + n_2 - 2$ degrees of freedomApproximately the $t$ distribution with $N - 2$ degrees of freedom
Significant?Significant?Significant?
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
Approximate $C\%$ confidence interval for $\mu_1 - \mu_2$$C\% confidence interval for \mu_1 - \mu_2n.a. (\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) \pm t^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}} where the critical value t^* is the value under the t_{k} distribution with the area C / 100 between -t^* and t^* (e.g. t^* = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20). The confidence interval for \mu_1 - \mu_2 can also be used as significance test. (\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) \pm t^* \times s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_1} + \dfrac{1}{n_2}} where the critical value t^* is the value under the t_{n_1 + n_2 - 2} distribution with the area C / 100 between -t^* and t^* (e.g. t^* = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20). The confidence interval for \mu_1 - \mu_2 can also be used as significance test. - n.a.Effect sizen.a. -Cohen's d: Standardized difference between the mean in group 1 and in group 2:$$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. - Visual representationVisual representationn.a. - n.a.Equivalent ton.a. -One way ANOVA with an independent variable with 2 levels ($I$= 2): • two sided two sample$t$test is equivalent to ANOVA$F$test when$I$= 2 • two sample$t$test is equivalent to$t$test for contrast when$I$= 2 • two sample$t$test is equivalent to$t$test multiple comparisons when$I$= 2 OLS regression with one categorical independent variable with 2 levels: • two sided two sample$t$test is equivalent to$F$test regression model • two sample$t$test is equivalent to$t$test for regression coefficient$\beta_1\$
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Example contextExample contextExample context
Is the average mental health score different between men and women?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.Is there a monotonic relationship between physical health and mental health?
SPSSSPSSSPSS
Analyze > Compare Means > Independent-Samples T Test...
• Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Test Variable(s) and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Grouping Variable
• Click on the Define Groups... button. If you can't click on it, first click on the grouping variable so its background turns yellow
• Fill in the value you have used to indicate your first group in the box next to Group 1, and the value you have used to indicate your second group in the box next to Group 2
• Continue and click OK
Analyze > Compare Means > Independent-Samples T Test...
• Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Test Variable(s) and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Grouping Variable
• Click on the Define Groups... button. If you can't click on it, first click on the grouping variable so its background turns yellow
• Fill in the value you have used to indicate your first group in the box next to Group 1, and the value you have used to indicate your second group in the box next to Group 2
• Continue and click OK
Analyze > Correlate > Bivariate...
• Put your two variables in the box below Variables
• Under Correlation Coefficients, select Spearman
JamoviJamoviJamovi
T-Tests > Independent Samples T-Test
• Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Dependent Variables and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Grouping Variable
• Under Tests, select Welch's
• Under Hypothesis, select your alternative hypothesis
T-Tests > Independent Samples T-Test
• Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Dependent Variables and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Grouping Variable
• Under Tests, select Student's (selected by default)
• Under Hypothesis, select your alternative hypothesis
Regression > Correlation Matrix
• Put your two variables in the white box at the right
• Under Correlation Coefficients, select Spearman
• Under Hypothesis, select your alternative hypothesis
Practice questionsPractice questionsPractice questions