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Difference of Means T-test and the American National Election Study (2008): Internet Access and Political Talk

By: Nick Allum Published: 2015 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Datasets
Methods: T-test
Data Type: Survey
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This dataset example introduces difference of means t-tests. This method allows researchers to compare the means of a single variable for two subsets of the data to evaluate whether the means for those two subsets are statistically significantly different from each other or not. This technique builds on the single mean t-test.

This example describes the difference of means t-test, discusses the assumptions underlying it, and shows how to compute and interpret it. There are many variants of difference of means testing – this example focuses on the independent samples t-test. We illustrate the difference of means t-test using a subset of data from the 2008 American National Election Study (ANES2008). Specifically, we test whether internet access is related to how much people talk about politics. ...

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About This Dataset
Data Source Citation

The American National Election Studies ( TIME SERIES CUMULATIVE DATA FILE [dataset]. Stanford University and the University of Michigan [producers and distributors], 2010.

Full title of originating dataset

The American National Election Studies: Time Series Cumulative Data File

Data author(s) and affiliations

American National Election Studies (Stanford University, University of Michigan)

First publication date


Data Universe

U.S. eligible voters

Funding sources/suppliers

National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers: SBR-9707741, SBR-9317631, SES-9209410, SES-9009379, SES-8808361, SES-8341310, SES-8207580, and SOC77-08885.

Sample/sampling procedures

Random probability

Time frame of analysis


Unit of analysis

Adult Americans

Location covered by data


Links to SRM content
  • Salkind, N. (2007). T test for two population means. In N. J. Salkind, & K. Rasmussen (Eds.), Encyclopedia of measurement and statistics (pp. 991–993). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. doi:
  • T test for unrelated samples. (2004). In D. Cramer, & D. Howitt (Eds.), The SAGE dictionary of statistics (p. 168). London, England: SAGE Publications, Ltd. Retrieved from
  • Shapiro, J. (2008). t-Test. In P. J. Lavrakas (Ed.), Encyclopedia of survey research methods (pp. 912–913). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. doi:
List of variables


Frequency of discussing politics


Access to Internet


Watch TV programmes on election campaign