ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE (ANOVA) - Research Methodology

Analysis of variance (abbreviated as ANOVA) is an extremely useful technique concerning researches in the fields of economics, biology, education, psychology, sociology, business/industry and in researches of several other disciplines. This technique is used when multiple sample cases are involved. As stated earlier, the significance of the difference between the means of two samples can be judged through either z-test or the t-test, but the difficulty arises when we happen to examine the significance of the difference amongst more than two sample means at the same time. The ANOVA technique enables us to perform this simultaneous test and as such is considered to be an important tool of analysis in the hands of a researcher. Using this technique, one can draw inferences about whether the samples have been drawn from populations having the same mean.

Anova test in Research Methodology

The ANOVA is important in the context of all those situations where we want to compare more than two populations such as in comparing the yield of crop from several varieties of seeds, the gasoline mileage of four automobiles, the smoking habits of five groups of university students and so on. In such circumstances one generally does not want to consider all possible combinations of two populations at a time for that would require a great number of tests before we would be able to arrive at a decision. This would also consume lot of time and money, and even then certain relationships may be left unidentified (particularly the interaction effects). Therefore, one quite often utilizes the ANOVA technique and through it investigates the differences among the means of all the populations simultaneously.


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