# z test for a single proportion - 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

$z$ test for a single proportion
Cochran's Q test
Independent variableIndependent/grouping variable
NoneOne within subject factor ($\geq 2$ related groups)
Dependent variableDependent variable
One categorical with 2 independent groupsOne categorical with 2 independent groups
Null hypothesisNull 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.
H0: $\pi_1 = \pi_2 = \ldots = \pi_I$

Here $\pi_1$ is the population proportion of 'successes' for group 1, $\pi_2$ is the population proportion of 'successes' for group 2, and $\pi_I$ is the population proportion of 'successes' for group $I.$
Alternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesis
H1 two sided: $\pi \neq \pi_0$
H1 right sided: $\pi > \pi_0$
H1 left sided: $\pi < \pi_0$
H1: not all population proportions are equal
AssumptionsAssumptions
• Sample size is large enough for $z$ to be approximately normally distributed. Rule of thumb:
• Significance test: $N \times \pi_0$ and $N \times (1 - \pi_0)$ are each larger than 10
• Regular (large sample) 90%, 95%, or 99% confidence interval: number of successes and number of failures in sample are each 15 or more
• Plus four 90%, 95%, or 99% confidence interval: total sample size is 10 or more
• Sample is a simple random sample from the population. That is, observations are independent of one another
If the sample size is too small for $z$ to be approximately normally distributed, the binomial test for a single proportion should be used.
• Sample of 'blocks' (usually the subjects) is a simple random sample from the population. That is, blocks are independent of one another
Test statisticTest statistic
$z = \dfrac{p - \pi_0}{\sqrt{\dfrac{\pi_0(1 - \pi_0)}{N}}}$
Here $p$ is the sample proportion of successes: $\dfrac{X}{N}$, $N$ is the sample size, and $\pi_0$ is the population proportion of successes according to the null hypothesis.
If a failure is scored as 0 and a success is scored as 1:

$Q = k(k - 1) \dfrac{\sum_{groups} \Big (\mbox{group total} - \frac{\mbox{grand total}}{k} \Big)^2}{\sum_{blocks} \mbox{block total} \times (k - \mbox{block total})}$

Here $k$ is the number of related groups (usually the number of repeated measurements), a group total is the sum of the scores in a group, a block total is the sum of the scores in a block (usually a subject), and the grand total is the sum of all the scores.

Before computing $Q$, first exclude blocks with equal scores in all $k$ groups.
Sampling distribution of $z$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $Q$ if H0 were true
Approximately the standard normal distributionIf the number of blocks (usually the number of subjects) is large, approximately the chi-squared distribution with $k - 1$ degrees of freedom
Significant?Significant?
Two sided:
Right sided:
Left sided:
If the number of blocks is large, the table with critical $X^2$ values can be used. If we denote $X^2 = Q$:
• Check if $X^2$ observed in sample is equal to or larger than critical value $X^{2*}$ or
• Find $p$ value corresponding to observed $X^2$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
Approximate $C\%$ confidence interval for $\pi$n.a.
Regular (large sample):
• $p \pm z^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{p(1 - p)}{N}}$
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)
With plus four method:
• $p_{plus} \pm z^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{p_{plus}(1 - p_{plus})}{N + 4}}$
where $p_{plus} = \dfrac{X + 2}{N + 4}$ 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)
-
Equivalent toEquivalent to
• When testing two sided: goodness of fit test, with a categorical variable with 2 levels.
• When $N$ is large, the $p$ value from the $z$ test for a single proportion approaches the $p$ value from the binomial test for a single proportion. The $z$ test for a single proportion is just a large sample approximation of the binomial test for a single proportion.
Friedman test, with a categorical dependent variable consisting of two independent groups.
Example contextExample context
Is the proportion of smokers amongst office workers different from $\pi_0 = 0.2$? Use the normal approximation for the sampling distribution of the test statistic.Subjects perform three different tasks, which they can either perform correctly or incorrectly. Is there a difference in task performance between the three different tasks?
SPSSSPSS
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
If computation time allows, SPSS will give you the exact $p$ value based on the binomial distribution, rather than the approximate $p$ value based on the normal distribution
Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > K Related Samples...
• Put the $k$ variables containing the scores for the $k$ related groups in the white box below Test Variables
• Under Test Type, select Cochran's Q test
JamoviJamovi
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
Jamovi will give you the exact $p$ value based on the binomial distribution, rather than the approximate $p$ value based on the normal distribution
Jamovi does not have a specific option for the Cochran's Q test. However, you can do the Friedman test instead. The $p$ value resulting from this Friedman test is equivalent to the $p$ value that would have resulted from the Cochran's Q test. Go to:

ANOVA > Repeated Measures ANOVA - Friedman
• Put the $k$ variables containing the scores for the $k$ related groups in the box below Measures
Practice questionsPractice questions