Sign test  overview
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Sign test  Binomial test for a single proportion  Wilcoxon signedrank test  Cochran's Q test 


Independent variable  Independent variable  Independent variable  Independent/grouping variable  
2 paired groups  None  2 paired groups  One within subject factor ($\geq 2$ related groups)  
Dependent variable  Dependent variable  Dependent variable  Dependent variable  
One of ordinal level  One categorical with 2 independent groups  One quantitative of interval or ratio level  One categorical with 2 independent groups  
Null hypothesis  Null hypothesis  Null hypothesis  Null hypothesis  
 H_{0}: $\pi = \pi_0$
Here $\pi$ is the population proportion of 'successes', and $\pi_0$ is the population proportion of successes according to the null hypothesis.  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}: $\pi_1 = \pi_2 = \ldots = \pi_I$
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 hypothesis  Alternative hypothesis  Alternative hypothesis  Alternative hypothesis  
 H_{1} two sided: $\pi \neq \pi_0$ H_{1} right sided: $\pi > \pi_0$ H_{1} left sided: $\pi < \pi_0$  H_{1} two sided: $m \neq 0$ H_{1} right sided: $m > 0$ H_{1} left sided: $m < 0$  H_{1}: not all population proportions are equal  
Assumptions  Assumptions  Assumptions  Assumptions  



 
Test statistic  Test statistic  Test statistic  Test statistic  
$W = $ number of difference scores that is larger than 0  $X$ = number of successes in the sample  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:
 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 $W$ if H_{0} were true  Sampling distribution of $X$ if H0 were true  Sampling distribution of $W_1$ and of $W_2$ if H_{0} were true  Sampling distribution of $Q$ if H_{0} were true  
The exact distribution of $W$ under the null hypothesis is the Binomial($n$, $P$) distribution, with $n =$ number of positive differences $+$ number of negative differences, and $P = 0.5$.
If $n$ is large, $W$ is approximately normally distributed under the null hypothesis, with mean $nP = n \times 0.5$ and standard deviation $\sqrt{nP(1P)} = \sqrt{n \times 0.5(1  0.5)}$. Hence, if $n$ is large, the standardized test statistic $$z = \frac{W  n \times 0.5}{\sqrt{n \times 0.5(1  0.5)}}$$ follows approximately the standard normal distribution if the null hypothesis were true.  Binomial($n$, $P$) distribution.
Here $n = N$ (total sample size), and $P = \pi_0$ (population proportion according to the null hypothesis).  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.  If the number of blocks (usually the number of subjects) is large, approximately the chisquared distribution with $k  1$ degrees of freedom  
Significant?  Significant?  Significant?  Significant?  
If $n$ is small, the table for the binomial distribution should be used: Two sided:
If $n$ is large, the table for standard normal probabilities can be used: Two sided:
 Two sided:
 For large samples, the table for standard normal probabilities can be used: Two sided:
 If the number of blocks is large, the table with critical $X^2$ values can be used. If we denote $X^2 = Q$:
 
Equivalent to  n.a.  n.a.  Equivalent to  
Two sided sign test is equivalent to
     Friedman test, with a categorical dependent variable consisting of two independent groups.  
Example context  Example context  Example context  Example context  
Do people tend to score higher on mental health after a mindfulness course?  Is the proportion of smokers amongst office workers different from $\pi_0 = 0.2$?  Is the median of the differences between the mental health scores before and after an intervention different from 0?  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?  
SPSS  SPSS  SPSS  SPSS  
Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > 2 Related Samples...
 Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > Binomial...
 Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > 2 Related Samples...
 Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > K Related Samples...
 
Jamovi  Jamovi  Jamovi  Jamovi  
Jamovi does not have a specific option for the sign test. However, you can do the Friedman test instead. The $p$ value resulting from this Friedman test is equivalent to the two sided $p$ value that would have resulted from the sign test. Go to:
ANOVA > Repeated Measures ANOVA  Friedman
 Frequencies > 2 Outcomes  Binomial test
 TTests > Paired Samples TTest
 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
 
Practice questions  Practice questions  Practice questions  Practice questions  