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Sample Paper Excerpt

Two co-authors, both psychologists, are preparing to submit a manuscript describing their study that examined the superiority of a newly developed instrument to measure a general mental health of a person. The study was designed with 20 healthy volunteers being administered the standard Medical Outcome Study (MOS) mental health scale soon after entering the study. After 3 months they were administered the newly developed instrument to measure the response.

The data consist of pre (MOS scale) and post (new instrument) study results on 20 subjects. The co-authors disagree on the appropriate statistical test to use after collecting data. One author, the principal investigator, decided to test whether the mean post-study result would be better than the mean pre-study result using a 'paired' t-test. The other author, the co-PI, argued that a more appropriate test should be a standard 'pooled' t-test.
How could the co-authors resolve this?

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