How to Calculate Effect Size Statistics

by Karen Grace-Martin

There are many effect size statistics for ANOVA and regression, and as you may have noticed, journal editors are now requiring you include one.

Unfortunately, the one your editor wants or is the one most appropriate to your research may not be the one your software makes available (SPSS, for example, reports Partial Eta Squared only, although it labels it Eta Squared in early versions).

Luckily, all the effect size measures are relatively easy to calculate from information in the ANOVA table on your output.  Here are a few common ones:

Effect Size Forulas
Eta Squared, Partial Eta Squared, and Omega Squared Formulas

Cohens d formula
Cohen’s d formula
You  have to be careful, if you’re using SPSS, to use the correct values, as SPSS labels aren’t always what we think.  For example, for SSTotal, use what SPSS labels SS Corrected Total.

What SPSS labels SS Total actually also includes SS for the Intercept, which is redundant to other information in the model.

The denominator for Cohen’s d is always some measure of standard deviation.  I’ve shown s pooled here, but you often see different options, including just using one sample’s s.  This is the one I see used most commonly.

tn_mdWant to learn more about Effect Size Statistics? Get our free webinar recording titled: Effect Size Statistics.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

ioana November 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

I have a question regarding Omega squared: can you use this formula for repeated measures or mixed designs? If not, then where can I find a formula for such situations? – I couldn’t find a clear answer to this anywhere.

Thank you!


Karen December 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hi Ioana,

To my knowledge, no. I checked Keppel, and he said there are a few version of omega sq for repeated measures anovas, but they’re problematic. But my version of Keppel is not the most recent. Perhaps there is a better option now.

I do know that for a mixed model, there isn’t. You can estimate a Cohen’s d, though for a standardized mean difference score.


Sarit December 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm

How do I calculate the eta squared from the partial eta squared I got using SPSS?


Karen December 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm

You can’t do it from partial eta squared, but you can from the SS using the formulas.


GradStudent January 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm

For a 2×2 between ANOVA, my table gives me .86 for the SS^effect , 6.564 for the SS^corrected total, and .131 for partial eta squared. When I use these calculations, it gives me .116 for partial eta squared, but .131 for eta squared!! I’m so confused now.


Karen February 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm

That indeed looks to be to be .131 for eta squared. Are there other effects in the model?


Kim S March 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Hi Karen,

Do you know how to calculate an effect size for a planned contrast? E.g. I want to compare the means of 2 groups vs. the means of 3 groups and get Cohen’s d.




Karen April 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Hi Kim,

I’ve never heard of a Cohen’s d for a contrast, but I can’t think of a conceptual reason it shouldn’t work. Hmmm.


KB April 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for a great resource. I have an omega squared value of w2 = 0.45
I need to change this into a standardized mean difference (cohen’s d). Can you suggest how to do so?


Karen April 21, 2014 at 11:12 am

Hi KB,

As far as I know, you can’t do it. Omega Sq is based on % variance explained and Cohen’s d is based on mean differences. There should be many mean differences with the same SS, for example.


Anoop April 20, 2014 at 8:34 am

Hi Karen,

What is the SD to calculate Cohen’s d For an ANCOVA? Can i use the square root of the MSerror of the ANCOVA?

Thank you!


Karen April 21, 2014 at 11:14 am

Hi Anoop,

Yes. That sq root of the MSError (with the fancy name Root MSE or RSME) is an estimate of the pooled std deviation.


Ryan April 22, 2014 at 9:17 am

I just wanted to know whether you have to use cohens d to find the effect size for an independent samples t-test or can you use partial eta squared to represent the effect size of an independent samples t-test.


Karen May 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

Hi Ryan,

You could do an eta squared, but you’d have to run it through anova instead of a t-test


Yatin May 12, 2014 at 4:56 am

Hi Karen,

Thanks for such a great resource. Makes life simpler. I had two questions.

1) I was going through some papers and wanted to compare my data’s effect size with those papers. So is it possible to calculate partial eta squared from F value, df ?

2) Cohen’s d follows a classification system based on their effect sizes (Cohen, 1992) i.e. Cohen’s d = .10 = weak effect
Cohen’s d = .30 = moderate effect
Cohen’s d = .50 = strong effect

Is there a similar classification for partial eta squared effect sizes as well. If yes, do you know any reference on top of your mind?

Thank you.


Karen May 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Hi Yatin,

Not that I know of, although the nice thing about eta squared is it’s a percentage, so you should be able to evaluate whether it’s a large or small percentage. I don’t like these “t-shirt sizes” for Cohen’s d anyway. I talked about this in my Effect Size Statistics webinar. It’s a free download.


Cynthia May 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Hi Karen,

Thanks for a wonderful resource! I’m trying to figure out which effect size is most appropriate for small sample size (n=29) and unequal/unbalanced cell sizes for my 2×2 ANOVA. Can you advise?

Thank you!


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