ANCOVA - overview

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ANCOVA
One way ANOVA
Independent variablesIndependent variable
One or more categorical with independent groups, and one or more quantitative control variables of interval or ratio level (covariates)One categorical with $I$ independent groups ($I \geqslant 2$)
Dependent variableDependent variable
One quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne quantitative of interval or ratio level
THIS TABLE IS YET TO BE COMPLETEDNull hypothesis
-ANOVA $F$ test:
  • $\mu_1 = \mu_2 = \ldots = \mu_I$
    $\mu_1$ is the unknown mean in population 1; $\mu_2$ is the unknown mean in population 2; $\mu_I$ is the unknown mean in population $I$
$t$ Test for contrast:
  • $\Psi = 0$
    $\Psi$ is a contrast in the population, defined as $\Psi = \sum a_i\mu_i$. Here $\mu_i$ is the unknown mean in population $i$ and $a_i$ is the coefficient for $\mu_i$. The coefficients $a_i$ sum to 0.
$t$ Test multiple comparisons:
  • $\mu_g = \mu_h$
    $\mu_g$ is the unknown mean in population $g$; $\mu_h$ is the unknown mean in population $h$
n.a.Alternative hypothesis
-ANOVA $F$ test:
  • Not all population means are equal
$t$ Test for contrast:
  • Two sided: $\Psi \neq 0$
  • Right sided: $\Psi > 0$
  • Left sided: $\Psi < 0$
$t$ Test multiple comparisons:
  • Usually two sided: $\mu_g \neq \mu_h$
n.a.Assumptions
-
  • Within each population, the scores on the dependent variable are normally distributed
  • The standard deviation of the scores on the dependent variable is the same in each of the populations: $\sigma_1 = \sigma_2 = \ldots = \sigma_I$
  • Group 1 sample is a simple random sample (SRS) from population 1, group 2 sample is an independent SRS from population 2, $\ldots$, group $I$ sample is an independent SRS from population $I$. That is, within and between groups, observations are independent of one another
n.a.Test statistic
-ANOVA $F$ test:
  • $\begin{aligned}[t] F &= \dfrac{\sum\nolimits_{subjects} (\mbox{subject's group mean} - \mbox{overall mean})^2 / (I - 1)}{\sum\nolimits_{subjects} (\mbox{subject's score} - \mbox{its group mean})^2 / (N - I)}\\ &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares between} / \mbox{degrees of freedom between}}{\mbox{sum of squares error} / \mbox{degrees of freedom error}}\\ &= \dfrac{\mbox{mean square between}}{\mbox{mean square error}} \end{aligned} $
    where $N$ is the total sample size, and $I$ is the number of groups.
    Note: mean square between is also known as mean square model; mean square error is also known as mean square residual or mean square within
$t$ Test for contrast:
  • $t = \dfrac{c}{s_p\sqrt{\sum \dfrac{a^2_i}{n_i}}}$
    Here $c$ is the sample estimate of the population contrast $\Psi$: $c = \sum a_i\bar{y}_i$, with $\bar{y}_i$ the sample mean in group $i$. $s_p$ is the pooled standard deviation based on all the $I$ groups in the ANOVA, $a_i$ is the contrast coefficient for group $i$, and $n_i$ is the sample size of group $i$.
    Note that if the contrast compares only two group means with each other, this $t$ statistic is very similar to the two sample $t$ statistic (assuming equal population standard deviations). In that case the only difference is that we now base the pooled standard deviation on all the $I$ groups, which affects the $t$ value if $I \geqslant 3$. It also affects the corresponding degrees of freedom.
$t$ Test multiple comparisons:
  • $t = \dfrac{\bar{y}_g - \bar{y}_h}{s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_g} + \dfrac{1}{n_h}}}$
    $\bar{y}_g$ is the sample mean in group $g$, $\bar{y}_h$ is the sample mean in group $h$, $s_p$ is the pooled standard deviation based on all the $I$ groups in the ANOVA, $n_g$ is the sample size of group $g$, and $n_h$ is the sample size of group $h$.
    Note that this $t$ statistic is very similar to the two sample $t$ statistic (assuming equal population standard deviations). The only difference is that we now base the pooled standard deviation on all the $I$ groups, which affects the $t$ value if $I \geqslant 3$. It also affects the corresponding degrees of freedom.
n.a.Pooled standard deviation
-$ \begin{aligned} s_p &= \sqrt{\dfrac{(n_1 - 1) \times s^2_1 + (n_2 - 1) \times s^2_2 + \ldots + (n_I - 1) \times s^2_I}{N - I}}\\ &= \sqrt{\dfrac{\sum\nolimits_{subjects} (\mbox{subject's score} - \mbox{its group mean})^2}{N - I}}\\ &= \sqrt{\dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares error}}{\mbox{degrees of freedom error}}}\\ &= \sqrt{\mbox{mean square error}} \end{aligned} $
where $s^2_i$ is the variance in group $i$
n.a.Sampling distribution of $F$ and of $t$ if H0 were true
-Sampling distribution of $F$:
  • $F$ distribution with $I - 1$ (df between, numerator) and $N - I$ (df error, denominator) degrees of freedom
Sampling distribution of $t$:
  • $t$ distribution with $N - I$ degrees of freedom
n.a.Significant?
-$F$ test:
  • Check if $F$ observed in sample is equal to or larger than critical value $F^*$ or
  • Find $p$ value corresponding to observed $F$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$ (e.g. .01 < $p$ < .025 when $F$ = 3.91, df between = 4, and df error = 20)

$t$ Test for contrast two sided: $t$ Test for contrast right sided: $t$ Test for contrast left sided:
$t$ Test multiple comparisons two sided:
  • Check if $t$ observed in sample is at least as extreme as critical value $t^{**}$. Adapt $t^{**}$ according to a multiple comparison procedure (e.g., Bonferroni) or
  • Find two sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $t$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$. Adapt the $p$ value or $\alpha$ according to a multiple comparison procedure
$t$ Test multiple comparisons right sided
  • Check if $t$ observed in sample is equal to or larger than critical value $t^{**}$. Adapt $t^{**}$ according to a multiple comparison procedure (e.g., Bonferroni) or
  • Find right sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $t$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$. Adapt the $p$ value or $\alpha$ according to a multiple comparison procedure
$t$ Test multiple comparisons left sided
  • Check if $t$ observed in sample is equal to or smaller than critical value $t^{**}$. Adapt $t^{**}$ according to a multiple comparison procedure (e.g., Bonferroni) or
  • Find left sided $p$ value corresponding to observed $t$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$. Adapt the $p$ value or $\alpha$ according to a multiple comparison procedure
n.a.$C\%$ confidence interval for $\Psi$, for $\mu_g - \mu_h$, and for $\mu_i$
-Confidence interval for $\Psi$ (contrast):
  • $c \pm t^* \times s_p\sqrt{\sum \dfrac{a^2_i}{n_i}}$
    where the critical value $t^*$ is the value under the $t_{N - I}$ distribution with the area $C / 100$ between $-t^*$ and $t^*$ (e.g. $t^*$ = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20). Note that $n_i$ is the sample size of group $i$, and $N$ is the total sample size, based on all the $I$ groups.
Confidence interval for $\mu_g - \mu_h$ (multiple comparisons):
  • $(\bar{y}_g - \bar{y}_h) \pm t^{**} \times s_p\sqrt{\dfrac{1}{n_g} + \dfrac{1}{n_h}}$
    where $t^{**}$ depends upon $C$, degrees of freedom ($N - I$), and the multiple comparison procedure. If you do not want to apply a multiple comparison procedure, $t^{**} = t^* = $ the value under the $t_{N - I}$ distribution with the area $C / 100$ between $-t^*$ and $t^*$. Note that $n_g$ is the sample size of group $g$, $n_h$ is the sample size of group $h$, and $N$ is the total sample size, based on all the $I$ groups.
Confidence interval for single population mean $\mu_i$:
  • $\bar{y}_i \pm t^* \times \dfrac{s_p}{\sqrt{n_i}}$
    where $\bar{y}_i$ is the sample mean for group $i$, $n_i$ is the sample size for group $i$, and the critical value $t^*$ is the value under the $t_{N - I}$ distribution with the area $C / 100$ between $-t^*$ and $t^*$ (e.g. $t^*$ = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20). Note that $n_i$ is the sample size of group $i$, and $N$ is the total sample size, based on all the $I$ groups.
n.a.Effect size
-
  • Proportion variance explained $\eta^2$ and $R^2$:
    Proportion variance of the dependent variable $y$ explained by the independent variable: $$ \begin{align} \eta^2 = R^2 &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares between}}{\mbox{sum of squares total}} \end{align} $$ Only in one way ANOVA $\eta^2 = R^2$. $\eta^2$ (and $R^2$) is the proportion variance explained in the sample. It is a positively biased estimate of the proportion variance explained in the population.

  • Proportion variance explained $\omega^2$:
    Corrects for the positive bias in $\eta^2$ and is equal to: $$\omega^2 = \frac{\mbox{sum of squares between} - \mbox{df between} \times \mbox{mean square error}}{\mbox{sum of squares total} + \mbox{mean square error}}$$ $\omega^2$ is a better estimate of the explained variance in the population than $\eta^2$.

  • Cohen's $d$:
    Standardized difference between the mean in group $g$ and in group $h$: $$d_{g,h} = \frac{\bar{y}_g - \bar{y}_h}{s_p}$$ Indicates how many standard deviations $s_p$ two sample means are removed from each other
n.a.ANOVA table
-
ANOVA table

Click the link for a step by step explanation of how to compute the sum of squares
n.a.Equivalent to
-OLS regression with one, categorical independent variable transformed into $I - 1$ code variables:
  • $F$ test ANOVA equivalent to $F$ test regression model
  • $t$ test for contrast $i$ equivalent to $t$ test for regression coefficient $\beta_i$ (specific contrast tested depends on how the code variables are defined)
n.a.Example context
-Is the average mental health score different between people from a low, moderate, and high economic class?
n.a.SPSS
-Analyze > Compare Means > One-Way ANOVA...
  • Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Dependent List and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Factor
or
Analyze > General Linear Model > Univariate...
  • Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Dependent Variable and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Fixed Factor(s)
n.a.Jamovi
-ANOVA > ANOVA
  • Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Dependent Variable and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Fixed Factors
Practice questionsPractice questions