For \(\xi_i = \beta_0 + \beta_1 x_i\), let \(x_i =0\) if the data point is from groupA and \(x_i=1\) if it’s from groupB. Then the mean of groupA is computed by the intercept \(\mu_A = \beta_0\) and the mean of groupB is computed as the sum of the intercept and the slope \(\mu_B = \beta_0 + \beta_1\). Since \(\mu_A = 1\) and \(\mu_B = 10\), we can guess that \(\beta_0 = 1\) and \(\beta_1 = 10 - 1 = 9\).

## 14.1 Single two-level predictor

Let’s revisit the data from the Simon task. Just like in chapter 11, we will be looking at the hypothesis that, among all correct responses, the mean reaction times for the congruent condition are lower than those of the incongruent condition.

```
# extract just the currently relevant columns
# from the data set
<- aida::data_ST %>%
data_ST_excerpt filter(correctness == "correct") %>%
select(RT, condition)
# show the first couple of lines
head(data_ST_excerpt, 5)
```

```
## # A tibble: 5 × 2
## RT condition
## <dbl> <chr>
## 1 735 incongruent
## 2 557 incongruent
## 3 455 congruent
## 4 376 congruent
## 5 626 incongruent
```

Notice that this tibble contains the data in a tidy format, i.e., each row contains a pair of associated measurements.
We want to explain or predict the variable `RT`

in terms of the variable `condition`

.
The variable `RT`

is a metric measurement.
But the variable `condition`

is categorical variable with two category levels.

Before we head on, let’s look at the data (again). Here’s a visualization of the distribution of RTs in each condition:

```
%>%
data_ST_excerpt ggplot(aes(x = condition, y = RT, color = condition, fill = condition)) +
geom_violin() +
theme(legend.position = "none")
```

The means for both conditions are:

```
%>%
data_ST_excerpt group_by(condition) %>%
summarize(mean_RT = mean(RT))
```

```
## # A tibble: 2 × 2
## condition mean_RT
## <chr> <dbl>
## 1 congruent 453.
## 2 incongruent 477.
```

The difference between the means of conditions is:

```
%>% filter(condition == "incongruent") %>% pull(RT) %>% mean() -
data_ST_excerpt %>% filter(condition == "congruent") %>% pull(RT) %>% mean() data_ST_excerpt
```

`## [1] 23.63348`

While numerically this difference seems high, the question remains whether this difference is, say, big enough to earn our trust.
We address this question here using posterior inference based on a regression model.
Notice that we simply use the same formula syntax as before: we want a model that explains `RT`

in terms of `condition`

.

```
<- brm(
fit_brms_ST formula = RT ~ condition,
data = data_ST_excerpt
)
```

Let’s inspect the summary information for the posterior samples, which we do here using the `summary`

function for the `brms_fit`

object from which we extract information only about the `fixed`

effects, showing the mean (here called “Estimate”) and indicators of the lower and upper 95% inner quantile.

`summary(fit_brms_ST)$fixed[,c("l-95% CI", "Estimate", "u-95% CI")]`

```
## l-95% CI Estimate u-95% CI
## Intercept 450.91698 452.87440 454.7599
## conditionincongruent 21.02123 23.66309 26.2741
```

We see that the model inferred a value for an “Intercept” variable and for another variable called “conditionincongruent”.
What are these?
If you look back at the empirically inferred means, you will see that the mean estimate for “Intercept” corresponds to the mean of RTs in the “congruent” condition and that the mean estimate for the variable “conditionincongruent” closely matches the computed difference between the means of the two conditions.
And, indeed, that is what this regression model is doing for us.
Using a uniform formula syntax, `brms`

has set up a regression model in which a predictor, given as a character (string) column, was internally coerced somehow into a format that produced an estimate for the mean of one condition and an estimate for the difference between conditions.

How do these results come about?
And why are the variables returned by `brms`

called “Intercept” and “conditionincongruent”?
In order to use the simple linear regression model, the categorical predictor \(x\) has been coded as either \(0\) or \(1\).
Concretely, `brms`

has introduced a new predictor variable, call it `new_predictor`

, which has value \(0\) for the “congruent” condition and \(1\) for the “incongruent” condition.
By default, `brms`

chooses the level that is alphanumerically first as the so-called **reference level**, assigning to it the value \(0\).
Here, that’s “congruent”.

The result would look like this:

```
%>%
data_ST_excerpt mutate(new_predictor = ifelse(condition == "congruent", 0, 1)) %>%
head(5)
```

```
## # A tibble: 5 × 3
## RT condition new_predictor
## <dbl> <chr> <dbl>
## 1 735 incongruent 1
## 2 557 incongruent 1
## 3 455 congruent 0
## 4 376 congruent 0
## 5 626 incongruent 1
```

Now, with this new numeric coding of the predictor, we can calculate the linear regression model as usual:

\[ \begin{aligned} \xi_i & = \beta_0 + \beta_1 x_i & y_i & \sim \text{Normal}(\mu = \xi_i, \sigma) \end{aligned} \]

As a consequence, the linear model’s intercept parameter \(\beta_0\) can be interpreted as the predicted mean of the reference level: if for some \(i\) we have \(x_i = 0\), then the predictor \(\xi_i\) will just be \(\xi_i = \beta_0\); whence that the intercept \(\beta_0\) will be fitted to the mean of the reference level if for some \(i\) we have \(x_i = 1\) instead, the predicted value will be computed as \(\xi_i = \beta_0 + \beta_1\), so that the slope term \(\beta_1\) will effectively play the role of the difference \(\delta\) between the mean of the groups.
The upshot is that we can conceive of a **\(t\)-test as a special case of a linear regression model!**

Schematically, we can represent this coding scheme for coefficients like so:

```
## # A tibble: 2 × 3
## condition x_0 x_1
## <chr> <dbl> <dbl>
## 1 congruent 1 0
## 2 incongruent 1 1
```

**Exercise 14.1**
For the given data below, compute (or guess) the MLEs of the regression coefficients. Choose the appropriate 0/1 encoding of group information.
We have two groups, and three measurements of \(y\) for each:

groupA: (1,0,2) and groupB: (10,13,7)