Recommendations for applying tests of equivalence
Gruman, Jamie A.
Arpin-Cribbie, Chantal A.
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Researchers in psychology reliably select traditional null hypothesis significance tests (e.g., Student's t test), regardless of whether the research hypothesis relates to whether the group means are equivalent or whether the group means are different. Tests of equivalence, which have been popular in biopharmaceutical studies for years, have recently been introduced and recommended to researchers in psychology for demonstrating the equivalence of two group means. However, very few recommendations exist for applying tests of equivalence. A Monte Carlo study was used to compare the test of equivalence proposed by Schuirmann with the traditional Student t test for deciding if two group means are equivalent. It was found that Schuirmann's test of equivalence is more effective than Student's t test at detecting population mean equivalence with large sample sizes; however, Schuirmann's test of equivalence performs poorly relative to Student's t test with small sample sizes and/or inflated variances.