Fundamentals of Statistics contains material of various lectures and courses of H. Lohninger on statistics, data analysis and chemometrics......click here for more. 
Home Statistical Tests Means Comparing means  
See also: tdistribution, Mean  
Comparing means
When we compare means, we have to distinguish between two cases: (1) comparing the mean to a predefined fixed value, and (2) comparing two means. The two test procedures are similar. The only difference coming from the test statistic, which is normally distributed in the first case, and distributed according to a tdistribution in the second case. The reason for the two different distributions lies in the fact that in the first case the unknown mean (which is a normally distributed estimate of the true mean) is compared to a fixed number, whereas in the second case two estimates of the true means are compared with each other. A second distinction has to be made with respect to the sample size. Given a large (>30) sample size, we can assume the estimate of the standard deviation is fairly accurate. In the case of fewer samples, this assumption is not valid and we have to use the tdistribution. However, one could also use the tdistribution for a large number of samples, since the tdistribution approaches the normal distribution with an infinite number of values.
Depending on what is to be compared, there are several choices:


Home Statistical Tests Means Comparing means 
Last Update: 20121008