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Thread: Someone puts Cohen's d in a nutshell, please

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    Someone puts Cohen's d in a nutshell, please




    Hi,

    I came across Cohen's d statistic and I would very appreciate if anyone could provide me with a brief explanation of it and with an example rooted in a context of use.

    I understand that it is equal to the difference between two sample means divided by the pooled SD. But, I am wondering what kind of information is Cohen's d actually conveying. Beside, I understand that it can be provided along with t-test. Am I right?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Gm

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    Phineas Packard
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    Quote Originally Posted by gianmarco View Post
    Hi,

    I came across Cohen's d statistic and I would very appreciate if anyone could provide me with a brief explanation of it and with an example rooted in a context of use.

    I understand that it is equal to the difference between two sample means divided by the pooled SD. But, I am wondering what kind of information is Cohen's d actually conveying. Beside, I understand that it can be provided along with t-test. Am I right?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Gm
    Cohen's d is a measure of effect size. Simply put it indicates the amount of different between two groups on a construct of interest in standard deviation units. It is given for two reasons:
    1. It is used as a counter-point to significance tests were it gives an indication of how big or small a significant difference is. This difference can then be compared to Cohen's estimates of what is typical of a small, medium, or large effect.
    2. To provide a common metric on which to compare effects for meta-analysis or what not when outcome variables may be measured on different scales.

    As an example suppose we found a significant difference in self-esteem in a sample tested before an intervention and then again afterwards. A Cohen's d of .50 would suggest that the intervention program was associated with a half of one standard deviation increase in self-esteem.

    and yes it can be used with t-tests.

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    Hi Lazar,
    thanks for your reply and for your explanation.

    Can Cohen'd be used for un-paired t-test, or it only works with paired t-test?

    Beside, I guess it cannot be put at work in case of un-equal variance (i.e., Welch't-test) ? right?

    Thanks
    Gm

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    Phineas Packard
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    Sorry I should have mentioned that for paired samples one should use a correction for the correlation between the variables over time (see Morris and DeShon - from memory it is equation 6 or 8).

    For more info on how to use it in a range of circumstances see the paper above or Cohen's book.

    While I am at it this presentation on multilevel meta-analysis might be of some use for calculating d for a range of different things (see the powerpoint slides for detail).
    Last edited by Lazar; 09-03-2010 at 01:38 AM.

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    Hi Lazar,
    thanks again for your detailed reply and for the documentation provided.

    I will take a look at all that material.


    Thank you.
    Regards,
    Gm

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    Re: Someone puts Cohen's d in a nutshell, please

    Lazar,

    Apologies for posting on this old thread, but the link to the slides you refer to appears now to be dead.

    Do you have a copy of the slides or an updated link please?

    Thanks

    Ian

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    Re: Someone puts Cohen's d in a nutshell, please

    33,000 views on this thread. High fives to whoever posted/posts in it.
    All things are known because we want to believe in them.

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    Re: Someone puts Cohen's d in a nutshell, please


    I am proud to be the one who started the thread ;-)

    Gm
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read -Groucho Marx-

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