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 righthand 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  Wilcoxon signedrank test  One sample $z$ test for the mean 


Independent/grouping variable  Independent variable  Independent variable  
One categorical with 2 independent groups  2 paired groups  None  
Dependent variable  Dependent variable  Dependent variable  
One quantitative of interval or ratio level  One quantitative of interval or ratio level  One quantitative of interval or ratio level  
Null hypothesis  Null hypothesis  Null hypothesis  
H_{0}: $\mu_1 = \mu_2$
Here $\mu_1$ is the population mean for group 1, and $\mu_2$ is the population mean for group 2.  H_{0}: $m = 0$
Here $m$ is the population median of the difference scores. A difference score is the difference between the first score of a pair and the second score of a pair. Several different formulations of the null hypothesis can be found in the literature, and we do not agree with all of them. Make sure you (also) learn the one that is given in your text book or by your teacher.  H_{0}: $\mu = \mu_0$
Here $\mu$ is the population mean, and $\mu_0$ is the population mean according to the null hypothesis.  
Alternative hypothesis  Alternative hypothesis  Alternative hypothesis  
H_{1} two sided: $\mu_1 \neq \mu_2$ H_{1} right sided: $\mu_1 > \mu_2$ H_{1} left sided: $\mu_1 < \mu_2$  H_{1} two sided: $m \neq 0$ H_{1} right sided: $m > 0$ H_{1} left sided: $m < 0$  H_{1} two sided: $\mu \neq \mu_0$ H_{1} right sided: $\mu > \mu_0$ H_{1} left sided: $\mu < \mu_0$  
Assumptions  Assumptions  Assumptions  


 
Test statistic  Test statistic  Test 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 $\mu_2 > \mu_1$.  Two different types of test statistics can be used, but both will result in the same test outcome. We will denote the first option the $W_1$ statistic (also known as the $T$ statistic), and the second option the $W_2$ statistic.
In order to compute each of the test statistics, follow the steps below:
 $z = \dfrac{\bar{y}  \mu_0}{\sigma / \sqrt{N}}$
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 $\mu_0$.  
Sampling distribution of $t$ if H_{0} were true  Sampling distribution of $W_1$ and of $W_2$ if H_{0} were true  Sampling distribution of $z$ if H_{0} 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.  Sampling distribution of $W_1$:
If $N_r$ is large, $W_1$ is approximately normally distributed with mean $\mu_{W_1}$ and standard deviation $\sigma_{W_1}$ if the null hypothesis were true. Here $$\mu_{W_1} = \frac{N_r(N_r + 1)}{4}$$ $$\sigma_{W_1} = \sqrt{\frac{N_r(N_r + 1)(2N_r + 1)}{24}}$$ Hence, if $N_r$ is large, the standardized test statistic $$z = \frac{W_1  \mu_{W_1}}{\sigma_{W_1}}$$ follows approximately the standard normal distribution if the null hypothesis were true. Sampling distribution of $W_2$: If $N_r$ is large, $W_2$ is approximately normally distributed with mean $0$ and standard deviation $\sigma_{W_2}$ if the null hypothesis were true. Here $$\sigma_{W_2} = \sqrt{\frac{N_r(N_r + 1)(2N_r + 1)}{6}}$$ Hence, if $N_r$ is large, the standardized test statistic $$z = \frac{W_2}{\sigma_{W_2}}$$ follows approximately the standard normal distribution if the null hypothesis were true. If $N_r$ is small, the exact distribution of $W_1$ or $W_2$ should be used. Note: if ties are present in the data, the formula for the standard deviations $\sigma_{W_1}$ and $\sigma_{W_2}$ is more complicated.  Standard normal distribution  
Significant?  Significant?  Significant?  
Two sided:
 For large samples, the table for standard normal probabilities can be used: Two sided:
 Two sided:
 
Approximate $C\%$ confidence interval for $\mu_1  \mu_2$  n.a.  $C\%$ 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.    $\bar{y} \pm z^* \times \dfrac{\sigma}{\sqrt{N}}$
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.  n.a.  Effect size  
    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 representation  n.a.  Visual representation  
  
Example context  Example context  Example context  
Is the average mental health score different between men and women?  Is the median of the differences between the mental health scores before and after an intervention different from 0?  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 $\sigma = 3.$  
SPSS  SPSS  n.a.  
Analyze > Compare Means > IndependentSamples T Test...
 Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > 2 Related Samples...
   
Jamovi  Jamovi  n.a.  
TTests > Independent Samples TTest
 TTests > Paired Samples TTest
   
Practice questions  Practice questions  Practice questions  