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CHAPTER 11: EXPERIMENTS WITH MORE THAN TWO GROUPS

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: ADDING TO THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCK





Every experimental design is based on the two group design
Moving beyond this design allows us to ask more complicated and interesting
questions.


The single factor multiple-group design

This chapter covers designs with 1 IV that has 3 or more levels

Could have any number of control and experimental groups (not what book says)
Generally, the IV would have 5 or fewer levels


Between Subjects Design

Participants are randomly assigned to the levels different people in
each level who have not been paired or matched

Random assignment (RA) controls for EVs that you may be unaware of
RA will hopefully equate the groups, but you cannot be certain
If groups are not equal with respect to one or more EVs, we have a
confound(s)


Within Subjects designs

This design is involves doing one of three things:

Testing the same participants in each level, using natural matches, or
matching participants on a relevant EV(s)

Recall, if you do not match on a relevant EV, error variance will not
decrease, the TS value will not change, and you will have FEWER
degrees of freedom power decreases. You would be better of running
a between group design if this is the case.

Should use a within subjects design if you have few participants
(n<20/level) or you expect a small effect size but note that within groups
design are not always feasible/possible.
Comparing the multiple-group vs. two group single factor designs

Two group designs are well suited if you first need to establish whether the IV
has an effect

Always do a lit review first, to make sure the question has not already been
answered and to give you design ideas (dos and donts).

Multiple group designs are well suited if you want to know more precise info
about your IV, once youve established that it does have an effect.

Follow this principle of parsimony (KISS). Do not add more groups unless you
need to. The more levels (groups) you have, the more difficult it can become to
detect a treatment effect because error variance tends to increase.



Choosing a multiple groups design

The decision to use or not use this design depends on the research
question. Once youve decided that a single factor (1 IV) is appropriate,
you need to decide whether to use between or within subjects design

This decision depends on:

sample size: if <20 per group, use within subjects

expected effect size: if small, use within subjects

practical issues: depending on the issues, could go either way

and whether a within subjects design is even possible


Practical issues relate often to number of levels in your design and the
participants

If you have many levels and youre considering a within subjects
design = more difficult to find matched sets and natural sets. If using the
same people in each group, it is less likely that people will want to serve in
all conditions (these are reasons not to do a within subjects design)

If you have many levels and youre considering a between subjects
design = because you have different people in each group, and because
you should have at least 20/group for RA to work, you will need lots of
people (these are reasons not to do a between subjects design)
Variations on the multiple-group design

IV may be treatment (true IV) or classification/subject
If the latter, called quasi experiment or ex post facto design

Regardless, a single factor multiple group design can have any number of
control (including 0) and experimental groups



ANALYZING MULTIPLE GROUP DESIGNS


Calculating your statistics

Between subjects = one way independent ANOVA
Check for homogeneity of variance using Levenes F.
if significant, this is bad adjust for an elevated risk
of a type 1 error by only declaring significance if the
sig value is less then .01

Within subjects = one way repeated ANOVA
Check for sphericity using mauchlys test
If significant, this is bad use Greenhouse corrected
data on the SPSS output sheet this will control for
the inflated risk of a type 1 error




Rationale of ANOVA

Compares between and within group variability

F = variance between = treatment effect + individual diff + error
variance within individual diff + error

Note: variance within is also called error variance

If a treatment effect is present, F will be large

If no treatment effect is present, F will be close to 1

The bigger the F, the more likely it is to be significant



Interpreting your statistics


Look at descriptive (mean and SD) as well as inferential statistics (F values, df, p
or sig values, eta squared). Eta squared is an estimate of effect size if you
have just two groups, effect size is measured by Cohens d.

SPSS will give you df for between and within groups:

df between is for the treatment effect
df within is for the error term

F( df for the treatment effect, df for the error term) = actual value of F, p = actual
probability of F or if not significant, can say p > .05


If F is significant AND there are more than two means being compared, you must
do a post hoc test to see which means are different from which

Post hoc tests include: Scheffe, Tukey, NK, and LSD t

These are listed from least to most powerful. I usually run all except NK, and
report the one that gives me the results I like the best



Important notes about post hoc test:

In a 1 way independent ANOVA, SPSS calls the post hoc tests Post hoc tests.
If two or more means are significantly different from each other, simply tell people
where the differences were. For example: A (name of the post hoc test used)
showed that group X was significantly greater than group Y (p<.05), but that X
and Y were not significantly different from Z


In a one way repeated ANOVA, SPSS calls the post hoc tests compare main
effects in the ANALYSIS menu, and pairwise comparisons on the output page.
These comparisons are akin to the LSD t-test and they still compare the
means 2 x 2 to see which are different from which. If any are significant, report
this to people the same way as in the previous paragraph except where it says
name of post hoc test, just say multiple pairwise comparisons



Translating statistics into words


In the results section of an APA report, you report both descriptive and inferential
stats.

To test the hypothesis that ____, __name of the DV___ was/were analyzed
using a one way independent (dependent) ANOVA. These results are
summarized in Figure 1. The ANOVA was not significant, F(2,24) = 3.22, p >.05.
Sales clerks latency to help was the same regardless of whether the customer
was dressed sloppily, casually, or richly.

If the ANOVA is significant, it will read something like:


To test the hypothesis that ____, __name of the DV___ was analyzed using a
one way independent (dependent) ANOVA. These results are summarized in
Figure 1. The ANOVA was significant, F(2,24) = 13.22, p = .002, with an
estimated effect size eta squared = .83. Post hoc Tukey tests indicated (p < .05)
that sales clerks took longer to respond to sloppily dressed customers than to
casual or richly dressed costumers, who did not differ significantly from each
other.



Eta Squared is a measure of effect size, similar to r squared it tells you the
percentage of variance in the DV accounted for by the IV. The bigger your eta
squared, the larger your effect size note that it can take on any value between
0 and +1




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