Effect size estimates: current use, calculations, and interpretation

Catherine O Fritz, Peter E Morris, Jennifer J Richler

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association, 2001, 2010) calls for the reporting of effect sizes and their confidence intervals. Estimates of effect size are useful for determining the practical or theoretical importance of an effect, the relative contributions of factors, and the power of an analysis. We surveyed articles published in 2009 and 2010 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, noting the statistical analyses reported and the associated reporting of effect size estimates. Effect sizes were reported for fewer than half of the analyses; no article reported a confidence interval for an effect size. The most often reported analysis was analysis of variance, and almost half of these reports were not accompanied by effect sizes. Partial eta squared was the most commonly reported effect size estimate for analysis of variance. For t tests, 2/3 of the articles did not report an associated effect size estimate; Cohen’s d was the most often reported. We provide a straightforward guide to understanding, selecting, calculating, and interpreting effect sizes for many types of data and to methods for calculating effect size confidence intervals and power analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-18
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


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