Often researchers are confronted with determining whether the means of two or more groups differ. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) technique is a parametric hypothesis test to answer this question. ANOVA seeks to partition the overall data into components that correspond to variance explained by the groupings and variance that is unexplained by the groupings. Often the groups are defined by which treatment has been given to each of the experimental units in the group. In cases where the experimental units are randomly assigned to the treatment groups, ANOVA can be used to show causation. This entry discusses the basic principles of ANOVA and its organization, extensions, its use in contrasts and post hoc tests, and its assumptions.
The simplest case of ANOVA is the ...
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