Encyclopedia Entry

Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA)

James W. Grice

Multivariate analysis of variance, or MANOVA, is a data-modeling technique that is a powerful alternative to its univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) counterpart. With traditional ANOVA, mean differences between groups on a single quantitative variable can be analyzed. For instance, consider a school psychologist who is interested in examining the average performance of Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic children on a standardized test of intelligence that yields continuous scores on three subscales: Mathematics, Verbal, and Processing Speed. Adopting a univariate frame of mind, the psychologist could conduct three separate ANOVAs to determine if the means of the ethnic groups are equivalent on each of the three subscales. If the psychologist viewed the data from a multivariate standpoint, however, he or she could conduct a single MANOVA to examine differences between the Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic children on linear combinations of the three intelligence subscales. In other words, he or she could ...

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