One sample t test for the mean - overview

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One sample $t$ test for the mean
McNemar's test
Independent variableIndependent variable
None2 paired groups
Dependent variableDependent variable
One quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne categorical with 2 independent groups
Null hypothesisNull hypothesis
$\mu = \mu_0$
$\mu$ is the unknown population mean; $\mu_0$ is the population mean according to the null hypothesis

For each pair of scores, the data allow four options:

  1. First score of pair is 0, second score of pair is 0
  2. First score of pair is 0, second score of pair is 1 (switched)
  3. First score of pair is 1, second score of pair is 0 (switched)
  4. First score of pair is 1, second score of pair is 1
Null hypothesis is that for each pair of scores:
  • P(first score of pair is 0 while second score of pair is 1) = P(first score of pair is 1 while second score of pair is 0)
That is, the probability that a pair of scores switches from 0 to 1 is the same as the probability that a pair of scores switches from 1 to 0.

Other formulations of the null hypothesis are :

  • $\pi_1 = \pi_2$, where $\pi_1$ is the population proportion of ones in the first paired group and $\pi_2$ is the population proportion of ones in the second paired group
  • For each pair of scores, P(first score of pair is 1) = P(second score of pair is 1)

Alternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesis
Two sided: $\mu \neq \mu_0$
Right sided: $\mu > \mu_0$
Left sided: $\mu < \mu_0$

Alternative hypothesis is that for each pair of scores:

  • P(first score of pair is 0 while second score of pair is 1) $\neq$ P(first score of pair is 1 while second score of pair is 0)
That is, the probability that a pair of scores switches from 0 to 1 is not the same as the probability that a pair of scores switches from 1 to 0.

Other formulations of the alternative hypothesis are that, for each pair of scores:

  • $\pi_1 \neq \pi_2$
  • For each pair of scores, P(first score of pair is 1) $\neq$ P(second score of pair is 1)

AssumptionsAssumptions
  • Scores are normally distributed in the population
  • Sample is a simple random sample from the population. That is, 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
Test statisticTest statistic
$t = \dfrac{\bar{y} - \mu_0}{s / \sqrt{N}}$
$\bar{y}$ is the sample mean, $\mu_0$ is the population mean according to H0, $s$ is the sample standard deviation, $N$ is the sample size.

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 $\mu_0$
$X^2 = \dfrac{(b - c)^2}{b + c}$
$b$ is the number of pairs in the sample for which the first score is 0 while the second score is 1, and $c$ is the number of pairs in the sample for which the first score is 1 while the second score is 0
Sampling distribution of $t$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $X^2$ if H0 were true
$t$ distribution with $N - 1$ degrees of freedom

If $b + c$ is large enough (say, > 20), approximately a chi-squared distribution with 1 degree of freedom.

If $b + c$ is small, the binomial($n$, $p$) distribution should be used, with $n = b + c$ and $p = 0.5$. In that case the test statistic becomes equal to $b$.

Significant?Significant?
Two sided: Right sided: Left sided: For test statistic $X^2$:
  • 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 $\alpha$
If $b + c$ is small, the table for the binomial distribution should be used, with as test statistic $b$:
  • Check if $b$ observed in sample is in the rejection region or
  • Find two sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $b$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
$C\%$ confidence interval for $\mu$n.a.
$\bar{y} \pm t^* \times \dfrac{s}{\sqrt{N}}$
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.
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Effect sizen.a.
Cohen's $d$:
Standardized difference between the sample mean and $\mu_0$: $$d = \frac{\bar{y} - \mu_0}{s}$$ Indicates how many standard deviations $s$ the sample mean $\bar{y}$ is removed from $\mu_0$
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Visual representationn.a.
One sample t test
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n.a.Equivalent to
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Example contextExample context
Is the average mental health score of office workers different from $\mu_0$ = 50?Does a tv documentary about spiders change whether people are afraid (yes/no) of spiders?
SPSSSPSS
Analyze > Compare Means > One-Sample T Test...
  • Put your variable in the box below Test Variable(s)
  • Fill in the value for $\mu_0$ in the box next to Test Value
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 McNemar test
JamoviJamovi
T-Tests > One Sample T-Test
  • Put your variable in the box below Dependent Variables
  • Under Hypothesis, fill in the value for $\mu_0$ in the box next to Test Value, and select your alternative hypothesis
Frequencies > Paired Samples - McNemar test
  • Put one of the two paired variables in the box below Rows and the other paired variable in the box below Columns
Practice questionsPractice questions