Effect size statistics are all the rage these days.
Journal editors are demanding them. Committees won’t pass dissertations without them.
But the reason to compute them is not just that someone wants them — they can truly help you understand your data analysis.
What Is an Effect Size Statistic?
And yes, these definitely qualify. But the concept of an effect size statistic is actually much broader. Here’s a description from a nice article on effect size statistics:
If you think about it, many familiar statistics fit this description. Regression coefficients give information about the magnitude and direction of the relationship between two variables. So do correlation coefficients. (more…)
It seems every editor and her brother these days wants to see standardized effect size statistics reported in journal articles.
For ANOVAs, two of the most popular are Eta-squared and partial Eta-squared. In one way ANOVAs, they come out the same, but in more complicated models, their values, and their meanings differ.
SPSS only reports partial Eta-squared, and in earlier versions of the software it was (unfortunately) labeled Eta-squared. More recent versions have fixed the label, but still don’t offer Eta-squared as an option.
Luckily Eta-squared is very simple to calculate yourself based on the sums of squares in your ANOVA table. I’ve written another blog post with all the formulas. You can
If you’re in a field that uses Analysis of Variance, you have surely heard that p-values alone don’t indicate the size of an effect. You also need to give some sort of effect size measure.
Why? Because with a big enough sample size, any difference in means, no matter how small, can be statistically significant. P-values are designed to tell you if your result is a fluke, not if it’s big.
Truly the simplest and most straightforward effect size measure is the difference between two means. And you’re probably already reporting that. But the limitation of this measure as an effect size is not inaccuracy. It’s just hard to evaluate.
If you’re familiar with an area of research and the variables used in that area, you should know if a 3-point difference is big or small, although your readers may not. And if you’re evaluating a (more…)