What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (2024)

Power analysis for a paired sample t-test using G*Power is a statistical method used for determining the required sample size in order to achieve a certain level of statistical power in a research study. It involves calculating the probability of detecting a significant difference between two groups when one variable is measured twice in the same sample. G*Power is a software program that allows researchers to conduct power analysis for a paired sample t-test by inputting relevant information such as effect size, alpha level, and desired power. This analysis is essential in ensuring that a study has enough participants to detect meaningful differences and to increase the reliability of the results.

NOTE: This page was developed using G*Power version 3.0.10. You
can download the current version of G*Power from

http://www.psycho.uni-duesseldorf.de/abteilungen/aap/gpower3/ . You
can also find help files, the manual and the user guide on this website.

Examples

Example 1. A company markets an eight week long weight loss program and
claims that at the end of the program, on average, a participant will have lost 5
pounds. On the other hand, you have studied the program and you believe
that their program is scientifically unsound and shouldn’t work at all.
With some limited funding at hand, you want test the hypothesis that the weight
loss program does not help people lose weight. Your plan is to get a
random sample of people and put them on the program. You will measure
their weight at the beginning of the program and then measure their weight again
at the end of the program. Based on some previous research, you believe that
the standard deviation of the weight difference over eight weeks will be 5
pounds. You now want to know how many people you should enroll in the
program to test your hypothesis.

Example 2. A human factors researcher wants to study the difference between
dominant hand and the non-dominant hand in terms of manual dexterity. She
designs an experiment where each subject would place 10 small beads on the table
in a bowl, once with the dominant hand and once with the non-dominant hand.
She measured the number seconds needed in each round to complete the task.
She has also decided that the order in which the two hands are measured should
be counter balanced. She expects that the average difference in time would
be 5 seconds with the dominant hand being more efficient with standard deviation
of 10. She collects her data on a sample of 35 subjects. The
question is, what is the statistical power of her design with an N of 35 to
detect the difference in the magnitude of 5 seconds.

Prelude to the power analysis

In both of the examples, there are two measures on each subject, and we are
interested in the mean of the difference of the two measures. This can be
done with a t-test for paired samples (dependent samples). In a power
analysis, there are always a pair of hypotheses:a specific null hypothesis and
a specific alternative hypothesis. For instance, in Example 1, the null
hypothesis is that the mean weight loss is 5 pounds and the alternative is zero
pounds. In Example 2, the null hypothesis is that mean difference is zero
seconds and the alternative hypothesis is that the mean difference is 5 seconds.

There are two different aspects of power analysis. One is to calculate
the necessary sample size for a specified power. The other aspect is to
calculate the power when given a specific sample size. Technically, power
is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when the specific
alternative hypothesis is true.

Both of these calculations depend on the Type I error rate, the significance
level. The significance level (called alpha), or the Type I error rate, is
the probability of rejecting H0 when it is actually true. The
smaller the Type I error rate, the larger the sample size required for the same
power. Likewise, the smaller the Type I error rate, the smaller the power
for the same sample size. This is the trade-off between the reliability
and sensitivity of the test.

Power analysis

Immediately, we set G*Power to test the difference between two sample means.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (1)

The type of power analysis being performed is noted to be an ‘A Priori’
analysis, a determination of sample size. From there, we can input the
number of tails, the value of our chosen
significance level (α), and whatever power desired. For the purposes of
Example 1, let us choose the default significance level of .05 and a power of
.8.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (2)

All that remains to be inputted is the effect size, which can be determined
by using the appropriately named ‘Determine’ button. This calls up a side
window in which we can indicate that we wish to gauge effect size from
differences (rather than group parameters), and then entering the mean of
difference (which is to say the difference between the null and alternative
hypotheses means, 5 pounds), as well as the standard deviation (5 pounds).

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (3)

A click of ‘Calculate and transfer to main window’ solves for the effect
size, here 1. As the inputs are now all assembled, the ‘Calculate’ button
produces the desired necessary sample size, among other statistics. These
are, in descending order, the Noncentrality parameter δ, the Critical
t (the number of standard deviations from the null mean where an observation
becomes statistically significant), the number of degrees freedom, and the
test’s actual power. In addition, a graphical representation of the
test is shown, with the sampling distribution a dotted blue line, the population
distribution represented by a solid red line, a red shaded area delineating the
probability of a type 1 error, a blue area the type 2 error, and a pair of green
lines demarcating the critical points t.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (4)

Thus, we arrive at a sample size of 10, meaning ten people would need to be
enrolled in the weight loss program to test the hypothesis at significance level
.05 and power .8. What would happen at a higher power level, all else held
constant?

This is a simple enough measure to adjust, simply enter a different number
into the power input and calculate anew. To demonstrate (with .85 and
.09):

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (5)

At a power of .85, the necessary sample size increases to twelve.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (6)

At a power of .9, the necessary sample size increases further, to thirteen.
An increase in power clearly requires an increase in sample size.

Now, given a power of .9107 (the actual power for the last calculation), what
happens to sample size with the significance level changed to .01? The
answer can be swiftly deduced with a new set of inputs.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (7)

Sample size has swelled to 19. It would seem that to reduce the
likelihood of type 1 error, a
larger sample size is called for. Additionally, it is important to
consider that all our calculations so far have been done under the assumption
that the data are normally distributed. If this is not the case, a still
larger sample is needed.

Turning to Example 2, we find our priorities rearranged. Sample size is
given as 35 people, but power is unknown. To manage this, the type of power
analysis is changed from the ‘A Priori’ investigation of sample size to the
‘Post Hoc’ power calculation. A couple new variables are to be inputted; the
sample size is new and the significance level has been restored to .05.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (8)

Effect size must be redefined, with the difference given as 5 seconds and a
standard deviation of 10.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (9)

The necessary inputs now in place, we can calculate the test’s power.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (10)

The power is found to be .819536. In other words, a five-second
difference in timing will be picked up on roughly 82% of the time.

Note, however, that the previous test had two tails, meaning a simple
difference in means is looked for, and not one being specifically greater than
the other. However, as the experiment concerns the relative strength of a
dominant hand to its counterpart, it can be assumed that the former is always
better than the latter, and a one-tailed test can be conducted. A simple
shift of the ‘Tail(s)’ input parameter and a click of the ‘Calculate’ button
produces this:

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (11)

Here, power is found to be .894991.

Note also that G*Power is capable of performing power and sample size given
more specific initial conditions. Supposing that for Example 2, the
correlation between left and right hand measures is in fact .9 instead of the .5
implicitly assumed in calculating effect size from differences. We are looking
for sample size (an ‘A Priori’ power analysis), and setting power, significance
level, and the number of tails are to
familiar levels (.8, .05, and 2, respectively), but changing the method of
effect size determination to ‘from group
parameters’.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (12)

The two standard deviations are assumed identical at 10, the means of groups
1 and 2 can be anything so long as the difference between them is 5 (any values
obeying this rule will be shown as graphically identical, a point which should be noted as
potentially misleading). The variable of importance, correlation between
groups, is set to the predetermined value of .9. The sum total of this new
sequence of inputs is an effect size of 1.118034.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (13)

A press of ‘Calculate and transfer to main window’, followed by the main
window’s ‘Calculate’, produces the new sample size.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (14)

What required ten people in the initial example has been scaled down to nine
with a stronger correlation between the two measurements. The closer the
two measures are, the smaller the necessary sample.

The group parameters input is also useful for measurements with varying
standard deviations between two groups, as evidenced in the following retread of
Example 1. Assuming that the standard deviation for the pre-program group
is 7, with the post-program standard deviation at 12 and a correlation of .5, the resultant sample
size can be calculated. The vital edits are made within the window called
by the ‘Determine’ button, within the group parameters input.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (15)

Moving to the main window and calculating, the numbers needed for this
setting can be deduced.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (16)

With an initial standard deviation of 7, a follow-up deviation of 12, and a
correlation of .5, 37 people will be needed.

Discussion

One major technical assumption is the normality assumption. If the
distribution is skewed, then a small sample size may not have the power shown in
the results, because the value in the results is calculated using the method
based on the normality assumption. It might not even be a good idea to do
a t-test on a small sample to begin with.

What we really need to know is the difference between the two means, not the
individual values. In fact, what really matters, is the difference of the
means over the pooled standard deviation. We call this the effect size.
It is usually not an easy task to determine the effect size. It usually
comes from studying the existing literature or from pilot studies. A good
estimate of the effect size is the key to a successful power analysis.

For more information on power analysis, please visit our
Introduction to Power Analysis
seminar.

What Is The Power Analysis For A Paired Sample T-test Using G*Power For Data Analysis? (2024)

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