Anova (One-Way Anova, Two-Way Anova)

07/05/2021

An ANOVA test is a way to find out if survey or experiment results are significant. In other words, they help you to figure out if you need to reject the null hypothesis or accept the alternate hypothesis.

Basically, you’re testing groups to see if there’s a difference between them. Examples of when you might want to test different groups:

• A group of psychiatric patients are trying three different therapies: counseling, medication and biofeedback. You want to see if one therapy is better than the others.
• A manufacturer has two different processes to make light bulbs. They want to know if one process is better than the other.
• Students from different colleges take the same exam. You want to see if one college outperforms the other.

Types of Tests

There are two main types: one-way and two-way. Two-way tests can be with or without replication.

• One-way ANOVA between groups: used when you want to test two groups to see if there’s a difference between them.
• Two way ANOVA without replication: used when you have one group and you’re double-testing that same group. For example, you’re testing one set of individuals before and after they take a medication to see if it works or not.
• Two way ANOVA with replication: Two groups, and the members of those groups are doing more than one thing. For example, two groups of patients from different hospitals trying two different therapies.

One Way ANOVA

A one way ANOVA is used to compare two means from two independent (unrelated) groups using the F-distribution. The null hypothesis for the test is that the two means are equal. Therefore, a significant result means that the two means are unequal.

Examples of when to use a one way ANOVA

Situation 1: You have a group of individuals randomly split into smaller groups and completing different tasks. For example, you might be studying the effects of tea on weight loss and form three groups: green tea, black tea, and no tea.

Situation 2: Similar to situation 1, but in this case the individuals are split into groups based on an attribute they possess. For example, you might be studying leg strength of people according to weight. You could split participants into weight categories (obese, overweight and normal) and measure their leg strength on a weight machine.

Limitations of the One Way ANOVA

A one way ANOVA will tell you that at least two groups were different from each other. But it won’t tell you which groups were different. If your test returns a significant f-statistic, you may need to run an ad hoc test (like the Least Significant Difference test) to tell you exactly which groups had a difference in means.

Two Way ANOVA

A Two Way ANOVA is an extension of the One Way ANOVA. With a One Way, you have one independent variable affecting a dependent variable. With a Two Way ANOVA, there are two independents. Use a two way ANOVA when you have one measurement variable (i.e. a quantitative variable) and two nominal variables. In other words, if your experiment has a quantitative outcome and you have two categorical explanatory variables, a two way ANOVA is appropriate.

For example, you might want to find out if there is an interaction between income and gender for anxiety level at job interviews. The anxiety level is the outcome, or the variable that can be measured. Gender and Income are the two categorical variables. These categorical variables are also the independent variables, which are called factors in a Two Way ANOVA.

MANOVA is just an ANOVA with several dependent variables. It’s similar to many other tests and experiments in that it’s purpose is to find out if the response variable (i.e. your dependent variable) is changed by manipulating the independent variable. The test helps to answer many research questions, including:

• Do changes to the independent variables have statistically significant effects on dependent variables?
• What are the interactions among dependent variables?
• What are the interactions among independent variables?