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

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Two sample $t$ test - equal variances not assumed
Paired sample $t$ test
Independent/grouping variableIndependent variable
One categorical with 2 independent groups2 paired groups
Dependent variableDependent variable
One quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne quantitative of interval or ratio level
Null 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 of the difference scores, and $\mu_0$ is the population mean of the difference scores according to the null hypothesis, which is usually 0. A difference score is the difference between the first score of a pair and the second score of a pair.
Alternative 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: $\mu < \mu_0$
AssumptionsAssumptions
• 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
• Difference scores are normally distributed in the population
• Sample of difference scores is a simple random sample from the population of difference scores. That is, difference scores are independent of one another
Test 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 $\mu_2 > \mu_1$.
$t = \dfrac{\bar{y} - \mu_0}{s / \sqrt{N}}$
Here $\bar{y}$ is the sample mean of the difference scores, $\mu_0$ is the population mean of the difference scores according to the null hypothesis, $s$ is the sample standard deviation of the difference scores, and $N$ is the sample size (number of difference scores).

The denominator $s / \sqrt{N}$ is the standard error of the sampling distribution of $\bar{y}$. The $t$ value indicates how many standard errors $\bar{y}$ is removed from $\mu_0$.
Sampling 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 $N - 1$ degrees of freedom
Significant?Significant?
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
Approximate $C\%$ confidence interval for $\mu_1 - \mu_2$$C\% confidence interval for \mu (\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) \pm t^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}} where the critical value t^* is the value under the t_{k} distribution with the area C / 100 between -t^* and t^* (e.g. t^* = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20). The confidence interval for \mu_1 - \mu_2 can also be used as significance test. \bar{y} \pm t^* \times \dfrac{s}{\sqrt{N}} where the critical value t^* is the value under the t_{N-1} distribution with the area C / 100 between -t^* and t^* (e.g. t^* = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20). The confidence interval for \mu can also be used as significance test. n.a.Effect size -Cohen's d: Standardized difference between the sample mean of the difference scores and \mu_0:$$d = \frac{\bar{y} - \mu_0}{s}$$Cohen's$d$indicates how many standard deviations$s$the sample mean of the difference scores$\bar{y}$is removed from$\mu_0.$Visual representationVisual representation n.a.Equivalent to - • One sample$t$test on the difference scores. • Repeated measures ANOVA with one dichotomous within subjects factor. Example contextExample context Is the average mental health score different between men and women?Is the average difference between the mental health scores before and after an intervention different from$\mu_0 = 0\$?
SPSSSPSS
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 > Paired-Samples T Test...
• Put the two paired variables in the boxes below Variable 1 and Variable 2
JamoviJamovi
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 > Paired Samples T-Test
• Put the two paired variables in the box below Paired Variables, one on the left side of the vertical line and one on the right side of the vertical line
• Under Hypothesis, select your alternative hypothesis
Practice questionsPractice questions