Comparing Means in Two Populations


 Antony Carpenter
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1 Comparing Means in Two Populations
2 Overview The previous section discussed hypothesis testing when sampling from a single population (either a single mean or two means from the same population). Now we ll consider how to compare sample means from two populations. Towards the end of the course, we ll discuss comparing means from more than two populations. When we re comparing the means from two independent samples we usually ask: How does one sample mean compare with the other?
3 However, focusing just on comparing the means can be premature. It s safer to first consider the variability of each sample, the pattern of any outliers, the shape of the distributions. Then it may be safe to assume a normal distributions; but not always. So, we ll also discuss approaches to answering these questions when we re not comfortable with the assumption of normality, or when this assumption is just not defendable.
4 Two Sample Means Cities and counties: Returning to the Alabama SOL passrates, is there a difference between cities and counties? Recall last time we looked at a difference across years in the same population. Here, we want to look at the difference in one year between two populations: city high schools and county high schools.
5 Phase 1: State the Question, 1. Evaluate and describe the data Begin by looking at the data. Where did the data come from? What are the observed statistics? The source of this data is Alabama Department of Education. The first step in any data analysis is evaluating and describing the data. These first steps are also called preliminary analysis, to distinguish them from the definitive (or outcome) analysis.
6 Preliminary Analyses The goal of a preliminary analysis is to describe and inform. To give a description of the data. Keep in mind that, the goal of a definitive analysis is decision making or hypothesis testing.
7 Preliminary Analysis What are the observed statistics? Use the Fit Y by X platform to look at a graphical and tabular summary of the data, as in the next figure.
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9 Note: Previously, in Step 1, we used the Distribution of Y reports to identify and fix errors and to further understand the data. You can use the Distn of Y but you would have to run it twice here you can see everything in one place. There are three components to this figure: The dot plots, the box plots, and the quantiles table. Let s look at each.
10 The Dot plot A dot plot shows the continuous Yvariable s (Algebra I 2000 pass rate) values along the vertical axis and the nominal Xvariable s (City Yes or No) values along the horizontal axis. So we see the two groups along the horizontal axis; City = No and City = Yes. The width of the groups is proportional to the sample size of each group; there are more No (noncities) values so it is drawn wider. This follows the your eye goes to ink rule. Groups with larger samples are more informative than groups with smaller samples so the larger n group is drawn bigger.
11 Dot plots Along the vertical axis, we see the 10th grade, year 2000 Algebra I SOL passrate; One dot for each high school. Values range from 0% passing to 100% passing. The horizontal spreading of the values is done so that you can see each school s scores better (called Jittered Points ). The amount of horizontal spread is random; so, don t try to interpret the scores for points farther to the right or left than scores closer to the center (horizontally). Of course, the vertical values are interpretable; that is, a school at the top has a higher passrate than a school at the bottom.
12 Box Plots These sidebyside box plots describe the shape of the distributions within each group. These plots do not assume normality so we use them to begin to answer the question, Is each group normally distributed? In the box plots we can easily see whether the values are symmetric about the median. Look for these warning flags that the data is not normal:
13 Box Plots Is the distance between the median and the 75%tile different than the distance between the median and the 25%tile? Is the upper whiskerbar (actually, the 90%tile) more distant from the median than the lower whiskerbar (the 10%tile)? Are the highextreme tailvalues more distant from the median than the lowextreme tailvalues? These informal, graphic assessments don t raise any warning flags for these data. The dotted horizontal line represents the mean value for all schools (not considering the group).
14 Quantiles Report If a more detailed comparison of values is needed, the numerical values plotted in the box plots are shown in the Quantiles Report.
15 Quantiles Report For instance, in the City = No group, the distance from the median to the 75%tile (~49 vs 65, 16 points) is about the same as the distance between the median and the 25%tile (~49 vs 34, about 15 points). But, as in the Distribution platform, the preferred way to answer the question, Is each group normally distributed? is with a normal quantile plot.
16 Normal Quantile Plots Actually, the more proper phrasing of the question is: Within each group, is each group normally distributed? That is, it may be that if we were to lump both groups together, the data would appear nonnormal. We must take group membership into account when making this assessment.
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18 Interpretation Follow the same interpretation of the normal quantile plot as we discussed with a single mean. Are each group of black dots along a straight line? In the SOL data, these two sets of points follow the lines fairly well, with some departure in the tails.
19 Normality So, we now have enough information to answer the question, Within each group, is each group normally distributed? If the answer is Yes or Probably then we can proceed with parametric tests to compare the means. The Central Limit Theorem can apply if the sample size is large. The rule of thumb is if the total n is at least 30 (n1 + n2 30). If the answer to the normality question is No or I doubt it then we ll use nonparametric methods to answer our question.
20 Preliminary analysis, showing means If the data is normally distributed then means and SDs make sense. If these distributional assumptions are unwarranted, then we should consider nonparametric methods. Thus, the next thing to do in our preliminary analysis may be to get rid of the box plots and quantile plot and to show the means and standard deviations calculated within each group.
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22 Means This figure shows the means, here connected with a line, and a short dashed bar that is one standarderror error bars. The long dashed lines above and below the means are one standard deviation away from their respective mean. The means and standard errors and deviations can be shown by selecting Means and Std Dev from the main Options menu. From the Display Options submenu in the Options menu, select the options necessary.
23 Means and SDs Report We can use it to describe the following: the number of observations in each group, the means of each group, the standard deviation within each group. Recall that the SE is not a descriptive statistic for the data, it is used for inference about the mean. JMP includes the SE here because it is used to form confidence intervals about the mean.
24 Note: You can change the number of decimal places displayed in any JMP report: Doubleclick a number in the report. A dialog will appear. Change the number of decimal places.
25 Summary: Preliminary Analysis So far, what have we learned about the data? We have not found any errors in the data. We re comfortable with the assumption of normality within each group. We ve obtained descriptive statistics for each of the group we re comparing.
26 Preliminary Results Also, at this point, we can look at the two means and make a guess, is there a difference between cities and counties? City schools seem to be about 12 points below noncity schools, and with SEs < 3, this seems like a big difference. Recall that the tstatistic is the ratio of the difference to a standard error. The ratio of 12 to 3 is bigger than 2.
27 2. Review assumptions As always there are three questions to consider: Is the process used in this study likely to yield data that is representative of each of the two populations? Yes, it is the population Is observation in the two samples independent of the others? Yes. Is the sample size sufficient? Yes, both groups are large and we re comfortable with normality for both groups.
28 Bottom line We have to be comfortable that the first two assumptions are met before we can proceed at all. If we re comfortable with the normality assumption, then we proceed, as below. Later, we ll discuss what to do when normality can not be safely assumed.
29 3. State the question in the form of hypotheses Let s refer to the two groups as 1 and 2 for notational purposes. Using these as subscripts, there are three possible null hypotheses: 1. The null hypothesis is µ1 µ2, 2. The null hypothesis is µ1 µ2, or 3. The null hypothesis is a fixed value, µ1 = µ2. And the alternative hypothesis is the opposite of the null.
30 test statistic = summary statistic  hypothesized paramter standard error of the summary statistic Phase 2: Decide How to Answer the Question 4. Decide on a summary statistic that reflects the question Recall the general test statistic: test statistic = summary statistic  hypothesized paramter standard error of the summary statistic
31 Difference Score In this situation (as in comparing paired means), we are going to use the difference score as our summary statistic: The relevant statistic is y1 y2 or the observed difference of the two means.
32 The hypothesized parameter is easy: µ 1 µ 2 = 0, since under any of the three null hypotheses a difference of 0 would result in failing to reject the null hypothesis.
33 Standard Error What about the standard error? There are two possibilities for the standard error y y of 1 2. The two possibilities depend upon the two standard deviations within each group. o Are they the same? o Or do the two groups have different standard deviations?
34 Same SD If the standard deviations (or variances) within the two populations are equal than the standard error of the difference is easy. We just average the two estimated standard deviations and obtained a pooled estimate. The variance of the mean difference is the sum of the standard errors of each mean
35 Same SD σ 2 σ n n 1 2
36 The tstatistic We ll use the ttest to compare the two sample means and, using a pooled estimate for the variance called 2 s p, we calculate: t = y s y p sp n + n 1 2
37 Estimating σ The pooled variance estimate is a weighted average of the two individualgroup variances: s 2 p = ( 1) + ( 1) n s n s n + n Under the equal variance assumption, we calculate the pvalue using df = n1 + n2 2.
38 Unequal SD If the variances are not equal, the calculation is more complicated: t = y s y s2 n + n 1 2
39 tprime Note that the separate variance estimates are used in this t prime statistic, not the pooled estimated for variance. Further, the df is not a simple function of just n1 and n2. The details of these calculations are not important. What we need to know is how to proceed using JMP.
40 Deciding on the correct ttest Which test should we use? We may not need to choose; if the two sample sizes are equal (n1 = n2) the two methods give identical results. It s even pretty close if the n s are slightly different. If one n is more than 1.5 times the other (in the SOL case, n1 = 306 and n2 = 93, which is over 3 times as large), you ll have to decide which ttest to use.
41 Decision Decide whether the standard deviations are different. Use the equal variance ttest if they are the same, or Use the unequal variance ttest if they are different. Or, you could decide not to decide; use the unequal variance ttest. It s more conservative.
42 Determining Equal SDs There are three ways to make this decision. 1. Inspect the two standard deviation estimates. 2. Use the normal quantile plot. 3. Test for equal standard deviations.
43 Inspect the SDs Refer to the Means and Std Deviations report. Look at the two standard deviations, in this case 22.1 and Form the ratio of the largest to the smallest. If the ratio is larger than about 3, then the two SD s may be unequal (in our case, the ratio is 3.3). For a better answer to the question, see the normal quantile plot.
44 Normal Quantile Plot, SDs If the two standard deviations are equal then the slopes for the two lines in the normal quantile plot will be the same (the lines will be parallel). In our case the lines have roughly the same slope. So, for the SOL data the assumption of equal variability seems safe.
45 Questionable Parallel? If the slopes of the two lines are in that gray area between clearly parallel and clearly not parallel, what do we do? There are four possibilities: 1. Ignore the problem and be risky: use the equal variance ttest. 2. Ignore the problem and be conservative: use the unequal variance ttest. 3. Make a formal test of unequal variability in the two groups. 4. Compare the means using nonparametric methods.
46 What if not Parallel? Here, the data appear to be reasonably normal (this isn t the question) but the lines are not parallel they start out close and end far apart.
47 Here, not only do the variances appear to be unequal but normality is also in questions. We ll look at this case later.
48 Test for equal SDs In the case of the first figure, where we ll be using a ttest, but we re not sure which one, JMP provides a way to test for equal variance in the main options menu.
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50 Choosing between the tests of equal variance Of the five tests: O Brien s, the BrownForsythe test, Levene s test, Bartlett s test, and the Ftest; the last three are out of date and are not recommended. There s not much difference between O Brien s and BrownForsythe. BrownForsythe is more robust (resistant to outlying observations), so we ll use this result. What are we testing?
51 Variance test The nullhypothesis for these tests are, the variances are equal. So, if the Prob>F value for the Brown Forsythe test is < 0.05, then you will reject the null hypothesis (universal decision rule) and conclude that the groups have unequal variances.
52 Reject Equal SDs? The report also shows the result for the ttest to compare the two means, allowing the standard deviations to be unequal. This is the unequal variance ttest. Here is a written summary of the results using this method: The two groups were compared using an unequal variance ttest and found to be significantly different (t = 7.1, df = 217.4, pvalue < ). School districts in cities had lower scores.
53 Unequal test df? Notice the degrees of freedom it isn t a whole number. That is because it is based on a weighted contribution of each sample (with unequal ns) to the standard error estimate. You can round the number off but ONLY to one decimal place, do not round to a whole number.
54 Step 5: Random Variation Recall the rough interpretation that t s larger than 2 are likely not due to chance. For either type of t
55 6. State a decision rule The universal decision rule Reject H0: if pvalue < a.
56 Phase 3: Answer the Question 7. Calculate the statistic There are three possible statistics that may be appropriate: 1. an equal variance ttest, 2. an unequal variance ttest, or 3. the nonparametric Wilcoxon ranksum test.
57 Equal variance If the equal variance assumption is reasonable, then the standard ttest is appropriate. Note: When reporting a ttest it s assumed that, unless you specify otherwise, it s the equalvariance ttest. The next figure shows the means diamonds in the dot plot, the ttest report, and the means for a oneway ANOVA (Analysis Of VAriance) report. We ll cover oneway ANOVA later in the course. When there are only two groups, the ttest and ANOVA give identical results.
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59 In JMP To compare the two means using an equal variance t test in JMP: Choose Means/Anova/Pooled t from the main options menu. This adds the Oneway ANOVA report and means diamonds. The tvalue, df, and pvalue are shown in the ttest report. However, only the twotailed pvalue is reported (under Prob> t ). If the nullhypothesis specified that we were testing for equality, then this is the pvalue we want.
60 Onetail pvalues First, which group did JMP use for y1 and which for y2? JMP uses the order of the Xvariable: If the Xvariable is character, JMP alphabetically sorts the values and whichever comes first is y1. If the Xvariable is numeric, JMP uses the smallest value of the Xvariable as y1.
61 If your alternative was H A : µ 1 > µ 2 and the ttest value is positive, then the onetailed pvalue is half the twotail Prob> t in the report. If the ttest value was negative then you ve observed a difference in the opposite direction from that expected. The pvalue is one minus half the Prob> t in the report.
62 If your alternative was H A : µ 1 < µ 2 and the ttest value is negative, then the onetailed pvalue is half the twotail Prob> t in the report. If the ttest value was positive then you ve observed a difference in the opposite direction from that expected. The pvalue is one minus half the Prob> t in the report.
63 Unequal variance If the variances are not equal or if we just want a more conservative test then see the bottom portion of the Tests that the Variances are Equal report. The unequalvariances ttest is listed as the Welch Anova. Report the tvalue, df and pvalue, as in the equal variance case.
64 Nonparametric comparison of the medians If normality isn t reasonable, then you can use a nonparametric test. You will use a test that compares the medians between the two groups. The nonparametric test is based solely on the ranks of the values of the Yvariable. In JMP, choose Nonparametric > Wilcoxon test.
65 Wilcoxon The Wilcoxon ranksum test (also called the MannWhitney test) ranks all the Yvalues (in both groups) and then compares the sum of the ranks in each group (the groups are specified by the Xvariable). If the median of the first group is, in fact equal to the median of the second group, then the sum of the ranks should be equal for equal sample sizes
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67 Reporting Wilcoxon When reporting the results of a nonparametric test, it s usual to only report the pvalue. In the above report, there are two pvalues, one for the ztest and one using a chisquare value. The pvalues will rarely be different. For large samples report the pvalue from the normal approximation. For smaller samples, use the chisquare For really small samples you should probably consult a statistician to help you obtain exact pvalues.
68 Steps 8 & 9 8. Make a statistical decision Using all three tests, the two groups are different. All pvalues are < State the substantive conclusion The schools in cites have significantly lower mean pass rates (35.9% vs 48.8%) and significantly different median pass rates (36.0% vs 49.2%)
69 Phase 4: Communicate the Answer to the Question 10. Document our understanding with text, tables, or figures The year 2000 Alabama SOL passrates in 10th grade Algebra I were divided into two groups according to whether the school was a city or county high school. There were n = 306 schools within city schooldistricts and n = 92 in county school districts. The observed average pass rates within city schools was 35.9% (SD = 19.9) and pass rates outside of cities were 48.8% (SD = 22.1). Using a twotailed ttest, we conclude that the observed means are significantly different (t = 5.0, df = 396, pvalue < ). From this we conclude that city schools have a significantly lower pass rate compared to county schools. The 95% confidence interval about the mean difference is between 7.8% and 17.9%.
70 Less text, replaced by information in a table Alternatively, it may be more straightforward to include many of the numbers in a table and state your results in text. So instead of the above paragraph, you could do this:
71 The summary results for the year 2000 Alabama SOL pass rate percentages in 10th grade algebra I are shown in Table 1. Schools were divided into cities if their district name contained City and were otherwise classified as a county school district. From these results we conclude that schools in cities had a passrate that was significantly lower than the passrates compared to county schools. The 95% confidence interval about the mean difference is between 7.8% and 17.9%.
72 Table Alabama SOL PassRates in 10 th Grade Algebra I For Schools in Cities and in Counties Location Number of Schools Pass Rate (SD) SE 95% CI City (19.90) County (22.05) Difference 12.9 * * t = 5.0, df = 396, pvalue <
73 Less text, replaced by information in a figure As another alternative, it may be more informative to describe the results in a figure. Instead of the above, you could do this:
74 The summary results for the year 2000 Alabama SOL pass rate percentages in 10th grade algebra I are shown in Figure 12. Schools were divided into city and county high schools. From these results we conclude that schools in cities had a passrate that was significantly lower than the passrates compared to county schools(t = 5.0, df = 396, pvalue < ). The 95% confidence interval about the mean difference is between 7.8% and 17.9%.
75 County High Schools City High Schools mean = 48.8, SD = mean = 35.9, SD = Figure Alabama SOL PassRates in 10 th Grade Algebra I For Schools in Cities and in Counties
76 Summary: Two Independent Means Briefly, here is how to proceed when comparing the means obtained from two independent samples. Describe the two groups and the values in each group. What summary statistics are appropriate? Are there missing values? (why?) Assess the normality assumption. If normality is not warranted, then do a nonparametric test to compare the medians. If normality is warranted, then assess the equal variance assumption.
77 Summary (cont) Report confidence intervals on each of the means if normality is reasonable. Perform the appropriate statistical test: equal variance ttest, unequal variance ttest, or the Wilcoxon ranksum test. Determine the pvalue that corresponds to your hypothesis. Reject or fail to reject? State your substantive conclusion.
78 Summary (cont) Additional note: Say you conclude that the groups have different means. How do you describe what the different means are? If you ve followed the above recipe, you are in one of three situations: 1. Normality is reasonable and the variances are equal 2. Normality is reasonable and the variances are unequal 3. Normality is not warranted
79 Summary (cont) Normality is reasonable and the variances are equal, use the equal variance ttest. The write up reads the means are significantly different (t = x.xx, df =xxx, pvalue = 0.xxxx). Also give a table of means, SEs and 95%CIs just like the Means for Oneway Anova.
80 Summary (cont) The variances are unequal, use unequalvariance ttest. The write up reads the means are significantly different (unequal variance t = x.xx, df =xxx, pvalue = 0.xxxx). Also give a table of means, SEs and 95%CIs just like the Means and Std. Deviations report. Note: the means are the same. The SEs and CIs are different.
81 Summary (cont) Normality is unreasonable, use Wilcoxon s test. The write up reads the medians are significantly different (by Wilcoxon s signedrank test, pvalue = 0.xxxx). Also give a table of medians and IQRs. There is a way to put 95%CIs on these estimates but not using any easily available software.
82 Always Report a measure of the center and spread. For all three tests, report the pvalue and make a decision based upon your hypothesis. Your final statement should summarize the results in terms of the experiment (no statistics),
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