ANOVA is a statistical technique that assesses potential differences in a scale-level dependent variable by a nominal-level variable having 2 or more categories. For example, an ANOVA can examine potential differences in IQ scores by Country (US vs. Canada vs. Italy vs. Spain). Developed by Ronald Fisher in 1918, this test extends the t and thez test which have theproblem of only allowing the nominal level variable to have two categories. This test is also called the Fisher analysis of variance.

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The use of ANOVA depends on the research design. Commonly, ANOVAs are used in three ways: one-way ANOVA, two-way ANOVA, and N-way ANOVA.


Wright, D. B. (2006). Comparing groups in a before-after design: When t test and ANCOVA produce different results. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 663-675.

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