Measures of Effect Size for Comparative Studies: Applications, Interpretations, and Limitations

Contemp Educ Psychol. 2000 Jul;25(3):241-286. doi: 10.1006/ceps.2000.1040.


Although dissatisfaction with the limitations associated with tests for statistical significance has been growing for several decades, applied researchers have continued to rely almost exclusively on these indicators of effect when reporting their findings. To encourage an increased use of alternative measures of effect, the present paper discusses several measures of effect size that might be used in group comparison studies involving univariate and/or multivariate models. For the methods discussed, formulas are presented and data from an experimental study are used to demonstrate the application and interpretation of these indices. The paper concludes with some cautionary notes on the limitations associated with these measures of effect size. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.