If we have two samples, $x_1,\ldots,x_n$ and $x’_1,\ldots,x’_m$, and we compute the mean of each one, we might want to ask whether the two means seem approximately equal. Or more precisely, is their difference statistically significant at a given level?
- How to compute a confidence interval for a population mean
- How to do a two-sided hypothesis test for a sample mean
- How to do a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA)
- How to do a one-sided hypothesis test for two sample means
- How to do a hypothesis test for a mean difference (matched pairs)
- How to do a hypothesis test for a population proportion
If we call the mean of the first sample $\bar x_1$ and the mean of the second sample $\bar x_2$, then this is a two-sided test with the null hypothesis $H_0:\bar x_1=\bar x_2$. We choose a value $0\leq\alpha\leq1$ as the probability of a Type I error (false positive, finding we should reject $H_0$ when it’s actually true).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 # Replace these first three lines with the values from your situation. alpha <- 0.10 sample1 <- c( 6, 9, 7, 10, 10, 9 ) sample2 <- c( 12, 14, 10, 17, 9 ) # Run a one-sample t-test and print out alpha, the p value, # and whether the comparison says to reject the null hypothesis. t.test( sample1, sample2, conf.level=1-alpha )
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Welch Two Sample t-test data: sample1 and sample2 t = -2.4617, df = 5.7201, p-value = 0.05097 alternative hypothesis: true difference in means is not equal to 0 90 percent confidence interval: -7.0057683 -0.7942317 sample estimates: mean of x mean of y 8.5 12.4
Although we can deduce the answer to our question from the above output, by comparing the $p$ value with $\alpha$ manually, we can also ask R to do it.
1 2 3 # Is there enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis? result <- t.test( sample1, sample2, conf.level=1-alpha ) result$p.value < alpha
1  TRUE
In this case, the samples give us enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis at the $\alpha=0.10$ level. The data suggest that $\bar x_1\neq\bar x_2$.
Here we did not assume that the two samples had equal variance.
If in your case they do, you can pass the parameter
Content last modified on 24 July 2023.
Contributed by Nathan Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org)