PSY2: Research Methods – Lesson 28

Calculating The Sign Test

PSY2 RM Powerpoint

Teachers or students who want the original PPT please tweet @psychopepper

Learning Objectives

  • To KNOW and UNDERSTAND what a sign test is in psychological research.
  • To KNOW and UNDERSTAND how to conduct a sign test
  • To ANALYSE the data collected in the happiness experiment in order to judge if the results are significant.
  • To APPLY this knowledge to past exam questions.

Lesson Outline:


  1. Draw the decision table for stats test from memory?
  2. Define a sign test going through the three key factors in deciding to choose it.
  3. Work through a model set of data on confidence in maths taking step by step notes on what to do and model answers on key questions.
  4. Apply the steps to calculate the value of S and n for your happiness experiment.
  5. Complete several past exam questions on calculating and choosing the sign test.
  6. Self assessment of these answers.

Content Recap:

Sign Test: The sign test is an inferential statistical test of difference that allows a researcher to determine the significance of their investigation. It is used in studies that have used a repeated measures design, where the data collected is nominal.

S Value:

  • Step One: If participants improved add a + sign, if they declined add a – sign, if they stayed the same add a o sign.
  • Step Two: Ignore all those who stayed the same
  • Step Three: what the the leaf frequent sign? How many are there of that sign?

N Value:

  • Step One: How many participants did you have?
  • Step Two: Delete those who stayed the same.

If you would like to access PsychoPepper’s Glossary of Terms please click here

Study Notes (TBC):

If you would like to download a set of study notes for this lesson, you can do so here. If you would like access to the original word file please tweet @psychopepper


I would suggest that you have a copy of one of the textbooks which will allow you to read around the subject matter, pre-read ahead of lessons or even take extra notes/practise questions afterwards. I would recommend the following (you do not need to replicate books, one of each type is plenty!)

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