Morgan I.

asked • 11/19/19

Use paired or unpaired t-test?

I am doing an analysis on whether there is a meaningful difference between the temperature in June and December in Hawaii. I first identify the average temperature in June at all stations across all available years in the dataset. I did the same for December temperature. Now I have average temperatures for both june and december between the years of 2010-2017. I now have to use a t-test to determine whether the difference in the means, if any, is statistically significant. Will I use a paired t-test, or an unpaired t-test? Why?

I am unclear whether to use a paired or unpaired t-test. I know paired should be used for similar samples taken at different times (i.e. rat tumor size before and after treatment). However, I am confused because the variable temperature is taken at two different times (June and December) at the same location (the average temperature recorded at all stations in Hawaii). I am confused as to which t-test I use for this example and why I use it. Thank you.

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