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

This page offers structured overviews of one or more selected methods. Add additional methods for comparisons by clicking on the dropdown button in the right-hand column. To practice with a specific method click the button at the bottom row of the table

Two sample $t$ test - equal variances not assumed
One sample $z$ test for the mean
Binomial test for a single proportion
Independent/grouping variableIndependent variableIndependent variable
One categorical with 2 independent groupsNoneNone
Dependent variableDependent variableDependent variable
One quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne categorical with 2 independent groups
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: $\mu = \mu_0$

Here $\mu$ is the population mean, and $\mu_0$ is the population mean according to the null hypothesis.
H0: $\pi = \pi_0$

Here $\pi$ is the population proportion of 'successes', and $\pi_0$ is the population proportion of successes according to the null hypothesis.
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: $\mu \neq \mu_0$
H1 right sided: $\mu > \mu_0$
H1 left sided: $\mu < \mu_0$
H1 two sided: $\pi \neq \pi_0$
H1 right sided: $\pi > \pi_0$
H1 left sided: $\pi < \pi_0$
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
• Scores are normally distributed in the population
• Population standard deviation $\sigma$ is known
• Sample is a simple random sample from the population. That is, observations are independent of one another
• Sample is a simple random sample from the population. That is, observations are independent of one another
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 $\mu_2 > \mu_1$.
$z = \dfrac{\bar{y} - \mu_0}{\sigma / \sqrt{N}}$
Here $\bar{y}$ is the sample mean, $\mu_0$ is the population mean according to the null hypothesis, $\sigma$ is the population standard deviation, and $N$ is the sample size.

The denominator $\sigma / \sqrt{N}$ is the standard deviation of the sampling distribution of $\bar{y}$. The $z$ value indicates how many of these standard deviations $\bar{y}$ is removed from $\mu_0$.
$X$ = number of successes in the sample
Sampling distribution of $t$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $z$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $X$ 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.
Standard normal distributionBinomial($n$, $P$) distribution.

Here $n = N$ (total sample size), and $P = \pi_0$ (population proportion according to the null hypothesis).
Significant?Significant?Significant?
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
Two sided:
• Check if $X$ observed in sample is in the rejection region or
• Find two sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $X$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
Right sided:
• Check if $X$ observed in sample is in the rejection region or
• Find right sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $X$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
Left sided:
• Check if $X$ observed in sample is in the rejection region or
• Find left sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $X$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
Approximate $C\%$ confidence interval for $\mu_1 - \mu_2$$C\% confidence interval for \mun.a. (\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) \pm t^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}} where the critical value t^* is the value under the t_{k} distribution with the area C / 100 between -t^* and t^* (e.g. t^* = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20). The confidence interval for \mu_1 - \mu_2 can also be used as significance test. \bar{y} \pm z^* \times \dfrac{\sigma}{\sqrt{N}} where the critical value z^* is the value under the normal curve with the area C / 100 between -z^* and z^* (e.g. z^* = 1.96 for a 95% confidence interval). The confidence interval for \mu can also be used as significance test. - n.a.Effect sizen.a. -Cohen's d: Standardized difference between the sample mean and \mu_0:$$d = \frac{\bar{y} - \mu_0}{\sigma}$$Cohen's$d$indicates how many standard deviations$\sigma$the sample mean$\bar{y}$is removed from$\mu_0.$- Visual representationVisual representationn.a. - Example contextExample contextExample context Is the average mental health score different between men and women?Is the average mental health score of office workers different from$\mu_0 = 50$? Assume that the standard deviation of the mental health scores in the population is$\sigma = 3.$Is the proportion of smokers amongst office workers different from$\pi_0 = 0.2$? SPSSn.a.SPSS 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 > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > Binomial... • Put your dichotomous variable in the box below Test Variable List • Fill in the value for$\pi_0$in the box next to Test Proportion Jamovin.a.Jamovi 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 -Frequencies > 2 Outcomes - Binomial test • Put your dichotomous variable in the white box at the right • Fill in the value for$\pi_0\$ in the box next to Test value
• Under Hypothesis, select your alternative hypothesis
Practice questionsPractice questionsPractice questions