PSYCH 018 Index > The t statistic

The t statistic

Collect data from 10 females and 10 males on the number of shoes each person owns. In class, we will develop a script for you to explain what the purpose of the data collection is (namely, to gather information to learn about statistical tests) and that the data are anonymous. You will give this explanation to the people you interview, because they are entitled to informed consent.

After explaining the purpose of the question, you will ask this question, in these precise words:

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Do not ask both members of a couple (spouses, for example), because this would violate the assumption of independence that is required for the t statistic.

After you collect your data, create a CSV file in this format, using lowercase m for male and lowercase f for female. Make sure your headings are gender and shoes.

gender,shoes
m,5
f,4
m,6
(etc.)

Save your file in the form like tstatnnnn.csv, where nnnn is your four-digit ID number.

You will then use SOFA to calculate a t statistic to determine if there is a significant (p < .05) effect for gender on number of shoes owned, and write up your findings in APA style.

Writing Up the Study

In APA style, write an Abstract, Method, Results, and Discussion sections. Because there is no introduction, please include your hypothesis (your hypothesis, which is your prediction; which may or may not be the same as the null hypothesis) in the Abstract.

The Method section should contain just the description of the participants and the procedure.

Your report will answer the following questions:

  1. Who were the participants? [Method section]
  2. How did you carry out the study? (Where, when, etc.) [Method section]
  3. Do men and women differ in the number of shoes owned, and is the difference significant? [Results section]
  4. Do your results support your hypothesis? If so, why? If not, why might it not match? [Discussion section]
  5. What might be sampling problems with this observation, and how could you change the sampling procedures to avoid the problems? [Discussion section]

Here is the form I will use to assess your papers.

When You Finish

Upload the comma-separated value (.csv) file and your report to Moodle. Your report should have a name like tstatnnnn.doc or tstatnnnn.odt, depending on whether you have saved the file in Word format or in OpenOffice.org format. Again, nnnn is your four-digit ID number.

The CSV file should have a name like tstatnnnn.csv, where nnnn is your four-digit ID number.