Re: [R] relationship between t-test CI and SEM?

From: Daniel Nordlund <>
Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2008 22:10:23 -0700

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf
> Of Rob Campbell
> Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2008 9:19 PM
> To:
> Subject: [R] relationship between t-test CI and SEM?
> Hi,
> I have what is probably a stupid question but I'm confused so here goes:
> - I have a distribution (n=100) and want to determine if the mean is
> significantly different from 0.5.
> - When I plot the 2-tailed 95% confidence limits for the standard error
> of the mean I find that the upper one just overlaps with 0.5. I was
> under the impression that this would lead me to conclude that there was
> no significant difference between the sample mean and 0.5.
> - However, when I perform a t-test it tells me that my mean /is/
> significantly different from 0.5. The confidence intervals returned by
> the t-test don't seem to match with the SEM I calculated (lm does return
> the same intervals).
> I have tried this in both R and matlab with the same results. So I think
> I'm calculating things right. Am I misinformed about the interpretation
> of the SEM? What are the confidence limits returned by the t-test (they
> bear no relationship to the SEM)?
> Thanks!
> Rob

It would help if you showed how you were computing the SEM, rather than telling us you are doing it correctly (the posting guide does ask you to provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code). When I calculate the SEM I get the same value produced by t.test().


Daniel Nordlund
Bothell, WA mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Mon 10 Mar 2008 - 05:16:25 GMT

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