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# Role of Post Hoc comparisons in Research Psychology

When a researcher utilizes three or more statistical samples, an ANOVA test is used to determine the mean and statistical significance of the three. When three or more groups are separately sampled, and their means are determined, an ANOVA test can be used to determine whether or not there is a significant difference. ANOVA attempts to determine the significance of their means. However, how does the researcher determine which of the three pairs has a statistically significant difference? This article will look into it.

## What are Post Hoc Tests?

Post hoc tests are extremely crucial when using ANOVA tests. When using ANOVA to assess if at least three group means are equal, statistically significant results reveal that not all group means are equal. The disadvantage of ANOVA is that it does not distinguish which pairs from the three samples are significant, and a post hoc comparison aids in identifying those differences.

## What are Post Hoc Comparisons?

When a researcher has three or more levels of a factor, Post Hoc comparisons can greatly help. These comparisons occur after a researcher observes significant effects in these groups. In order to compare group means, Post hoc tests can be useful. These tests are also known as multiple comparisons. Post hoc is derived from a Latin word that refers to the phrase 'after this.' A post hoc test performs two important tasks for a researcher. They explain which of the group's means are statistically and significantly different from other groups. In addition, they are also helpful in controlling the experiment-wise or family-wise error occurrences in a post-hoc comparison. The researcher reviews the information he has once his study is finished. This is done to see what trends that were different from the investigation's main aim are present. This means that these trends were planned after the researcher. In summary, a post-hoc study is taken up with the aid of the information that the researchers already gathered, and this information was not planned before the study. This means that examining pooled data from earlier studies can be one of the examples of a post-hoc study.

## Types of Post-Hoc Analysis Tests

Here is a description of the types of post hoc tests

**Bonferroni test**− This is a pretty easy and simple post hoc test. It involves several tests performed on the pairs of groups that we have. When the number of sample groups grows, the number of groups we have for comparisons also grows. This is a major reason for Type 1 error rates. In order to escape such errors, a Bonferroni test is useful. It does so by dividing the significance level achieved by the researcher's total number of comparisons. Therefore when all the comparisons occur, they all add up to the original error rate of type 1 error. Once we have determined our new significance threshold, we perform independent samples t-tests to see if there is a difference between our two groups. This adjustment is known as a Bonferroni Correction.**Tukeys' honest significance difference**− This is another test used for post hoc analysis, and this test also makes corrections based on the number of comparisons. However, a difference between this and the Bonferroni test is that it changes the test's statistic whenever it compares two groups. With the help of this test, we can find the approximate difference between the groups and get a confidence interval for this approximation.**Scheffe's test**− Scheffe's test is another popular test for post hoc analysis. This method achieves the task differently from the previous two methods. For simple and complex mean comparisons, the Scheffe test rectifies alpha, and complex mean comparisons entail comparing many pairs of means simultaneously.

When a researcher utilizes three or more statistical samples, an ANOVA test is used to determine the mean and statistical significance of the three. When three or more groups are separately sampled, and their means are determined, an ANOVA test can be used to determine whether or not there is a significant difference. ANOVA attempts to determine the significance of their means. However, how does the researcher determine which of the three pairs has a statistically significant difference? This article will look into it.

## What are Post Hoc Tests?

Post hoc tests are extremely crucial when using ANOVA tests. When using ANOVA to assess if at least three group means are equal, statistically significant results reveal that not all group means are equal. The disadvantage of ANOVA is that it does not distinguish which pairs from the three samples are significant, and a post hoc comparison aids in identifying those differences.

## What are Post Hoc Comparisons?

When a researcher has three or more levels of a factor, Post Hoc comparisons can greatly help. These comparisons occur after a researcher observes significant effects in these groups. In order to compare group means, Post hoc tests can be useful. These tests are also known as multiple comparisons. Post hoc is derived from a Latin word that refers to the phrase 'after this.' A post hoc test performs two important tasks for a researcher. They explain which of the group's means are statistically and significantly different from other groups. In addition, they are also helpful in controlling the experiment-wise or family-wise error occurrences in a post-hoc comparison. The researcher reviews the information he has once his study is finished. This is done to see what trends that were different from the investigation's main aim are present. This means that these trends were planned after the researcher. In summary, a post-hoc study is taken up with the aid of the information that the researchers already gathered, and this information was not planned before the study. This means that examining pooled data from earlier studies can be one of the examples of a post-hoc study.

## Types of Post-Hoc Analysis Tests

Here is a description of the types of post hoc tests.

### Bonferroni test

This is a pretty easy and simple post hoc test. It involves several tests performed on the pairs of groups that we have. When the number of sample groups grows, the number of groups we have for comparisons also grows. This is a major reason for Type 1 error rates. In order to escape such errors, a Bonferroni test is useful. It does so by dividing the significance level achieved by the researcher's total number of comparisons. Therefore when all the comparisons occur, they all add up to the original error rate of type 1 error. Once we have determined our new significance threshold, we perform independent samples t-tests to see if there is a difference between our two groups. This adjustment is known as a Bonferroni Correction.

### Tukeys' honest significance difference

This is another test used for post hoc analysis, and this test also makes corrections based on the number of comparisons. However, a difference between this and the Bonferroni test is that it changes the test's statistic whenever it compares two groups. With the help of this test, we can find the approximate difference between the groups and get a confidence interval for this approximation.

### Scheffe's test

Scheffe's test is another popular test for post hoc analysis. This method achieves the task differently from the previous two methods. For simple and complex mean comparisons, the Scheffe test rectifies alpha, and complex mean comparisons entail comparing many pairs of means simultaneously.

Apart from these three tests, other tests can help in post-hoc comparisons. While some are conventional and conservative, certain methods are more impactful. However, most are effective and provide more or less the same answers. What matters here is the ability to comprehend a post-hoc analysis. If you are given post-hoc study confidence intervals containing zero, there is no difference; if they do not, there is

## Sequential Methods

Sequential tests require completing pairwise comparisons and sorting the p-values, with each successive decision for significance relying on the preceding significance. Hochberg's sequential technique is a "step-up" approach to the Bonferroni process that is more powerful. Sequential approaches employ a succession of phases in the correction, each dependent on the outcome of the previous step. Contrasts are performed and then arranged based on p-values (from least to greatest in the "step-up" technique). Instead of correcting for all the tests in the set, each step corrects for the preceding number of tests. As long as confidence intervals are not required, this test provides an excellent, high-power alternative to the other modified Bonferroni procedures. Unfortunately, certain statistical software, such as SPSS, do not support this method.

## Conclusion

Post-hoc analysis refers to the contrast or comparison of two or more means in the variance report. It can provide some concise outcomes when compared to the original analysis. When the researchers wish to decide whether the chosen groups differ from one another, it is known as a post-hoc comparison. This way, the investigator can investigate the difference between two or more groups. These tests help uncover certain differences or similarities between three or more groups. This is possible when the variance in the groups is statistically significant. The well-known post hoc comparison methods include the Bonferroni test, Scheffe's test, and Tukeys' honest significance difference.

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