ANOVA vs MANOVA: Which Method to Use in Dissertations?

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is an inferential statistic employed to analyze data from an experiment with either multiple factors or independent variable's more than two levels. It is heavily used in dissertations or research. The variance may originate from one or more factors.


ANOVA vs MANOVA: Which Method to Use in Dissertations?

ANOVA and MANOVA in dissertations and research

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is an inferential statistic employed to analyze data from an experiment with either multiple factors or the independent variable's more than two levels. It is heavily used in dissertations or research. The variance may originate from one or more factors. It can be related to your independent variable, the individual differences within your units, and experimental error. Even if one has an ideally designed experiment, scores on a measure are subject to vary. On top of that, measurement error varies irrespective of whether your subjects receive the same treatment.

How can you determine statistical significance with ANOVA?

Total variability includes "between-groups" and "within-groups" variability. Between-group variability depends on the variation in your independent variable, individual discrepancies in your subjects, or experimental error. Random or error variance is related to within-group variability in research. It can be linked to individual differences between subjects receiving the same treatment.

The ANOVA statistic employs the F-distribution to define whether statistical significance exists in your results. The F-statistic can be determined by dividing between-groups variability (variance) by your within-groups variability (variance). After obtaining the F-statistic, one can compare this value to a critical table value in any statistics book to decide on the statistical significance of your results. More preferably, most statistical software packages provide a p-value. Therefore, depending on the dissertation's predetermined alpha level, one can readily gather whether the results are significant.

Suppose that one wishes to investigate the effect of three levels of fibers on the sausage structure. These fiber levels are the treatments, in other words, the levels of a factor. One-way ANOVA includes only one factor having more than two levels, and they are replicated in the experiment. Let us assume that pursuing the data collection, ANOVA is run, and the F-statistic has a p-value of .002. If one sets the alpha level at .05, this result becomes significant.

Nonetheless, this result only upholds the hypothesis that fiber addition is effective. Declaring significant differences between treatment means requires that posthoc tests be run on treatment means. Only then would experimental manipulations be reported differently from each other. One can make planned or unplanned comparisons. The t-test for each pair of means after running ANOVA reveals the differences.

How can you evaluate significance with MANOVA?

Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) is similar to univariate ANOVA. ANOVA addresses statistical differences on one continuous dependent variable using an independent grouping variable. In MANOVA, the researcher further analyzes by considering multiple continuous dependent variables and assembling them into a weighted linear combination or composite variable. Then, using the MANOVA, the scholar delves into whether the modified combination differs by the independent variable's different groups or levels. Thus, the researcher explores if it is possible to test whether the independent grouping variable explains a substantial amount of variance in the dependent variable.

Comparison of ANOVA and MANOVA

ANOVA and MANOVA share several assumptions. Research with MANOVA may address more issues than that with ANOVA. As many dissertations are designed to explore several dependent variables, one might better understand what happens when the independent variable changes. For instance, does your fiber improve sausage texture but not the color? If it is the case, one may resort to MANOVA instead of ANOVA. Moreover, a thesis with a MANOVA can be considered much better than one with a series of ANOVAs because, thanks to MANOVA, the researcher can decrease the likelihood of committing a Type I error. Independent random sampling, homogeneity of variances, and normality of data in MANOVA are as crucial as they are in MANOVA.

MANOVA has additional assumptions as compared to ANOVA. They include the absence of multivariate outliers, a certain level of multicollinearity, and linearity. Even so, interpreting MANOVA results can be more challenging than commenting on ANOVA results.

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This article explains the difference between ANOVA and MANOVA in academic studies. To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

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