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A question about student's t test

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Hello Everyone


So, I've come up the following problem - I have this data set with two variables - one is the age of a participant and the other one is a dichotomous variable that has to do with behavior. I want to know if the age affects the behaviour. Can I perform a t test, in which the age is the dependent variable? Obviously in theroy the age can only be the independent variable. If I perform the test the way I described it and find a significant difference (which I have), can I conclude that age affects behaviour, even though age was the dependent variable?



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Hi there,


I think it'd be a bit more natural to fit a logistic regression model with age as the predictor and the binary behavior variable as the outcome. Chances are it will agree with the t-test for whether mean age differs by those with the behavior and those without it. In other words, if one is significant, the other one probably will be too. But with the logistic regression you have what you see as the "cause" as the predictor and the "effect" as the outcome. 


Of course if the study design is observational you can't really determine causality. But still if you suspect age is what is affecting the behavior, then I think the logistic regression is the more natural statistical method.

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