ANCOVA: overview

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ANCOVA
Two way ANOVA
Independent variablesIndependent variables
One or more categorical with independent groups, and one or more quantitative control variables of interval or ratio level (covariates)Two categorical, the first with $I$ independent groups and the second with $J$ independent groups ($I \geqslant 2$, $J \geqslant 2$)
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 $F$ tests:
  • For main and interaction effects together (model): no main effects and interaction effect
  • For independent variable A: no main effect for A
  • For independent variable B: no main effect for B
  • For the interaction term: no interaction effect between A and B
We could also perform $t$ tests for specific contrasts and multiple comparisons, just like we did with one way ANOVA. However, this is more advanced stuff.
n.a.Alternative hypothesis
-ANOVA $F$ tests:
  • For main and interaction effects together (model): there is a main effect for A, and/or for B, and/or an interaction effect
  • For independent variable A: there is a main effect for A
  • For independent variable B: there is a main effect for B
  • For the interaction term: there is an interaction effect between A and B
n.a.Assumptions
-
  • Within each of the $I \times J$ populations, 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 $I \times J$ populations
  • For each of the $I \times J$ groups, the sample is an independent and simple random sample from the population defined by that group. That is, within and between groups, observations are independent of one another
  • Equal sample sizes for each group make the interpretation of the ANOVA output easier (unequal sample sizes result in overlap in the sum of squares; this is advanced stuff)
n.a.Test statistic
-For main and interaction effects together (model):
  • $F = \dfrac{\mbox{mean square model}}{\mbox{mean square error}}$
For independent variable A:
  • $F = \dfrac{\mbox{mean square A}}{\mbox{mean square error}}$
For independent variable B:
  • $F = \dfrac{\mbox{mean square B}}{\mbox{mean square error}}$
For the interaction term:
  • $F = \dfrac{\mbox{mean square interaction}}{\mbox{mean square error}}$
Note: mean square error is also known as mean square residual or mean square within
n.a.Pooled standard deviation
-$ \begin{aligned} s_p &= \sqrt{\dfrac{\sum\nolimits_{subjects} (\mbox{subject's score} - \mbox{its group mean})^2}{N - (I \times J)}}\\ &= \sqrt{\dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares error}}{\mbox{degrees of freedom error}}}\\ &= \sqrt{\mbox{mean square error}} \end{aligned} $
n.a.Sampling distribution of $F$ if H0 were true
-For main and interaction effects together (model):
  • $F$ distribution with $(I - 1) + (J - 1) + (I - 1) \times (J - 1)$ (df model, numerator) and $N - (I \times J)$ (df error, denominator) degrees of freedom
For independent variable A:
  • $F$ distribution with $I - 1$ (df A, numerator) and $N - (I \times J)$ (df error, denominator) degrees of freedom
For independent variable B:
  • $F$ distribution with $J - 1$ (df B, numerator) and $N - (I \times J)$ (df error, denominator) degrees of freedom
For the interaction term:
  • $F$ distribution with $(I - 1) \times (J - 1)$ (df interaction, numerator) and $N - (I \times J)$ (df error, denominator) degrees of freedom
Here $N$ is the total sample size
n.a.Significant?
-
  • 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 $\alpha$
n.a.Effect size
-
  • Proportion variance explained $R^2$:
    Proportion variance of the dependent variable $y$ explained by the independent variables and the interaction effect together:
    $$ \begin{align} R^2 &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares model}}{\mbox{sum of squares total}} \end{align} $$ $R^2$ 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 $\eta^2$:
    Proportion variance of the dependent variable $y$ explained by an independent variable or interaction effect:
    $$ \begin{align} \eta^2_A &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares A}}{\mbox{sum of squares total}}\\ \\ \eta^2_B &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares B}}{\mbox{sum of squares total}}\\ \\ \eta^2_{int} &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares int}}{\mbox{sum of squares total}} \end{align} $$ $\eta^2$ 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:
    $$ \begin{align} \omega^2_A &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares A} - \mbox{degrees of freedom A} \times \mbox{mean square error}}{\mbox{sum of squares total} + \mbox{mean square error}}\\ \\ \omega^2_B &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares B} - \mbox{degrees of freedom B} \times \mbox{mean square error}}{\mbox{sum of squares total} + \mbox{mean square error}}\\ \\ \omega^2_{int} &= \dfrac{\mbox{sum of squares int} - \mbox{degrees of freedom int} \times \mbox{mean square error}}{\mbox{sum of squares total} + \mbox{mean square error}}\\ \end{align} $$ $\omega^2$ is a better estimate of the explained variance in the population than $\eta^2$. Only for balanced designs (equal sample sizes).

  • Proportion variance explained $\eta^2_{partial}$: $$ \begin{align} \eta^2_{partial\,A} &= \frac{\mbox{sum of squares A}}{\mbox{sum of squares A} + \mbox{sum of squares error}}\\ \\ \eta^2_{partial\,B} &= \frac{\mbox{sum of squares B}}{\mbox{sum of squares B} + \mbox{sum of squares error}}\\ \\ \eta^2_{partial\,int} &= \frac{\mbox{sum of squares int}}{\mbox{sum of squares int} + \mbox{sum of squares error}} \end{align} $$
n.a.ANOVA table
-
two way ANOVA table
n.a.Equivalent to
-OLS regression with two, categorical independent variables and the interaction term, transformed into $(I - 1)$ + $(J - 1)$ + $(I - 1) \times (J - 1)$ code variables.
n.a.Example context
-Is the average mental health score different between people from a low, moderate, and high economic class? And is the average mental health score different between men and women? And is there an interaction effect between economic class and gender?
n.a.SPSS
-Analyze > General Linear Model > Univariate...
  • Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Dependent Variable and your two independent (grouping) variables 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 two independent (grouping) variables in the box below Fixed Factors
Practice questionsPractice questions